Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan, wife jailed for 7 years for unlawful marriage

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Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan.
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan
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and Wife Sentenced to Prison Over Marriage Legality, Third Ruling This Week.

 

In a series of legal blows to former Prime Minister Imran Khan, a court has sentenced him and his wife, Bushra Khan, to seven years in prison, ruling that their 2018 marriage violated the law. This marks the third ruling against Khan in a single week, just ahead of national elections on Thursday, which he is barred from contesting.

 

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The 71-year-old former Prime Minister has faced a cascade of legal challenges recently. Earlier this week, he received a 10-year sentence for leaking state secrets and a 14-year sentence, along with his wife, for illegally selling state gifts. Representatives of Khan have announced plans to launch appeals for all three cases.

 

 

The verdict against the couple, who were each fined 500,000 rupees ($1,800), stems from allegations that Bushra did not complete the mandated waiting period, “Iddat,” after divorcing her previous husband before marrying Khan. The court contends that the marriage contract, or “Nikkah,” was in violation of Islamic law.

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Despite Khan’s media advisor, Zulfi Bukhari, asserting the case’s falsity and denouncing the legal proceedings, the court’s decisions have cast a shadow over the upcoming February 8th elections. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, led by Khan, decried the rushed hearings, lack of cross-examination of witnesses, and the absence of due process as a mockery of the law.

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The legal troubles have raised concerns about the credibility of the electoral process, with PTI stating, “With the way these trials are being conducted, there will be a huge question mark on the February 8th elections. This is a test case for Pakistan’s higher judiciary.

 

 

Imran Khan, currently in prison in Rawalpindi, and his wife, set to serve her sentence in Islamabad, have denied any wrongdoing throughout the legal proceedings. The controversies surrounding the legality of their marriage, coupled with other legal challenges, have added complexity to Khan’s political future.

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These developments unfold amid Khan’s assertion that his removal from power in 2022 was orchestrated by the military, with whom he had fallen out while in office. The military denies any involvement in a crackdown on Khan and his party members, supporters, and aides.

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As Imran Khan faces a turbulent legal landscape and political uncertainties, the upcoming elections will undoubtedly be influenced by these developments, further shaping the political landscape of Pakistan.

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