In a series of setbacks for former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, a court has sentenced him and his wife, Bushra Khan, to seven years in prison and imposed fines for a marriage deemed unlawful under the law. This marks the third adverse ruling against the embattled politician in a week, just ahead of national elections, from which he is barred.
Imran Khan, 71, has recently faced a cascade of legal troubles, including a 10-year sentence for leaking state secrets and a 14-year sentence, along with his wife, for the alleged illegal sale of state gifts. The court imposed fines of 500,000 rupees ($1,800) on each of them, as reported by ARY News.
The charges against Bushra Khan were related to allegations that she did not fulfill the waiting period mandated by Islamic law, known as “Iddat,” after divorcing her previous husband before marrying Imran Khan. The couple signed their marriage contract, or “Nikkah,” in a secret ceremony in January 2018, seven months prior to Imran Khan’s assumption of the prime ministership.
Controversy surrounded the timing of their marriage, with initial denials followed by a confirmation from Imran Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Despite the denials, the court found the union in violation of the law.
Imran Khan is currently serving time in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, while his wife has been allowed to serve her sentence at their hilltop mansion in Islamabad. With a 10-year disqualification from holding public office already looming over him, the question arises about whether these new sentences will run concurrently or sequentially.
The developments unfold just days before national elections, where Imran Khan’s inability to contest has raised questions about the political landscape in Pakistan. The charismatic former cricket superstar, once celebrated for his leadership, now faces a string of legal challenges that may impact his political future.
Sources By Agencies