Former Pakistani PM sentenced to ten years in prison for state secrets

Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan, was found guilty of leaking state secrets and was given a 10-year prison sentence. Khan, who was removed from office as prime minister in 2022 by his rivals, is currently incarcerated for three years following his conviction for corruption. He claims that every accusation made against him is motivated by politics. The week prior to the general elections, in which he is ineligible to run, he was found guilty under the secrets act.

Later, in a statement posted on his X (formerly Twitter) account, the former international cricket player asked the public to “take revenge for every injustice with your vote on February 8 while remaining peaceful”. “Tell them that we are not sheep that can be driven with a stick,” he said. A special court established within Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi has sentenced Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the former foreign minister and vice-chairman of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, to ten years in prison. Both men are now being incarcerated there.

The alleged leak of classified diplomatic information transmitted by Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington to Islamabad during Khan’s prime ministership is at the center of the so-called cipher case. It has to do with his March 2022 appearance at a rally, one month before the former cricket player was removed from office by a vote of no confidence in parliament. Upon taking the podium, Imran Khan waved a piece of paper that he said revealed a foreign conspiracy against him. He clarified by saying, “If Imran Khan is removed from power, everyone will be forgiven.” He didn’t mention the nation, but he went on to criticize the US harshly. The former prime minister’s conduct amounted to disclosing a secret document and jeopardizing diplomatic ties, according to the prosecution. The last charge carries a potential life sentence or perhaps death penalty.

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