What next for former Pakistan PM Imran Khan: Is his political career over?

NEW DELHI: The political destiny of Pakistan‘s former prime minister Imran Khan hangs precariously following his conviction and three-year imprisonment in a graft case.

Khan, Pakistan’s essential opposition chief, faces an extended authorized battle to save lots of his political profession forward of a nationwide election anticipated later this 12 months.
The outspoken PTI chief’s political profession has seen a serious downslide ever since his ouster from energy final 12 months. Since then, Khan has been embroiled in a number of court docket instances, misplaced his prime celebration aides, and even antagonised the omnipotent army.

So what is the highway forward for the embattled chief?
Subsequent basic election
Based on Pakistani legislation, Khan’s conviction carries a disqualification from holding public workplace, the size of which will probably be determined by the Election Fee of Pakistan. Legally, that might be a most of 5 years ranging from the conviction date.
However the Supreme Court docket might impose a life ban if it dominated that he was responsible of dishonesty and so couldn’t meet the constitutional requirement for public workplace holders to be “truthful” and “trustworthy”. Such a ruling was made towards three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 2018.
In both case, Khan faces being excluded from the subsequent basic election due by November.
Nevertheless, if the conviction was suspended, Khan might nonetheless be eligible to contest the subsequent election.
The court docket had expedited the trial after Khan refused to look earlier than it for months regardless of being summoned repeatedly.
Nevertheless, this is only one of greater than 150 instances being ready towards him, together with two main instances which are nicely superior – a land fraud case and costs of abetting assaults on the army within the aftermath of his arrest in Could.
He’s more likely to be shuttled from one court docket to the opposite as he serves the three-year jail time period.
Navy angle
Other than his many authorized woes – Khan claims there are over 70 instances registered towards him – the previous cricketer’s standoff with the nation’s {powerful} army might be the final nail in his political coffin.
As soon as the blue-eyed boy of the army, Khan has managed to alienate the {powerful} military together with his statements towards the ISI chief.
Khan alleges that the army orchestrated his removing from energy and initiated a crackdown on him and his political celebration. The army refutes these claims, but Khan’s vital rhetoric towards the army institution persists.
Destiny of celebration
With Khan behind bars, his celebration, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), is now beneath the management of former overseas minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
The PTI had already been weakened by the departure of quite a few key figures within the aftermath of the Could 9 violence and ensuing crackdown, ensuing within the detention of a number of leaders and a whole bunch of celebration members.
Whereas the PTI retains important reputation, as indicated by polls, a lot of its success had been attributed to Khan’s private charisma. Qureshi lacks the identical stage of particular person following and should battle to duplicate Khan’s organizational prowess.
Khan had managed to maintain his supporters’ engagement by way of his presence on varied social media platforms, similar to TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, with common speeches. Nevertheless, this avenue is now closed to him.
Does it imply it is the tip of the highway?
Not essentially.
In a rustic like Pakistan, the destiny of political leaders largely depends upon the federal government of the day.
Traditionally, Pakistan has witnessed situations the place incarcerated leaders have gained enhanced reputation upon launch — each Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shehbaz, the incumbent prime minister, encountered imprisonment on corruption costs previous to reclaiming energy.
Former President Asif Ali Zardari equally skilled a interval of incarceration earlier than reentering the political enviornment.
However within the foreseeable future, Khan’s political innings seems to have hit a tough patch.
(With inputs from Reuters)

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