Imran Khan triumphs as court nullifies sedition case

Islamabad (Caasimada Online) – In a significant legal respite for former Prime Minister Imran Khan, a court in Pakistan dismissed a sedition case against him on Monday.

“The charges are without lawful authority and are of no legal effect,” ruled the Balochistan High Court.

The judgment arrives on the heels of Khan’s ongoing legal battle related to his corruption charges, for which he was imprisoned earlier this month.

“The case had weak legs, to begin with,” Khan’s attorney, Naeem Panjutha, rejoiced on the messaging platform formerly Twitter, exclaiming, “God be praised.”

Nestled in the heart of Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, the sedition case originated in March.

The allegations centered on one of Khan’s speeches, accused of being seditious. However, the court found that the prosecution failed to obtain the necessary consent from federal or provincial authorities to bring the sedition charges forward.

“The absence of such required consents means the case had no legal grounding,” emphasized legal analyst Abdul Wahab.

Legal troubles 

The dismissed sedition case is merely a drop in the bucket for Khan, who has been entangled in multiple legal challenges since his downfall.

Removed from power following a parliamentary vote of no confidence in April 2022, Khan has been a magnet for litigation.

Charges against him range from corruption and terrorism to incitement of attacks against state institutions and even abetment to murder.

For the uninitiated, sedition charges in Pakistan are uncommon and often wielded as a political tool.

“Sedition laws have been a contentious issue in Pakistan, frequently used for settling scores rather than addressing actual crimes,” explained Shahid Afridi, a professor of Political Science at Quaid-i-Azam University.

After his unceremonious exit from office, Khan’s relationship with Pakistan’s influential military soured, fueling the country’s already volatile political landscape.’

Khan’s political power 

With Pakistan grappling with an economic downturn considered among its worst, Khan’s efforts to galvanize public support have fomented further instability.

Today’s decision could be a precursor to another crucial ruling. Later in the day, Islamabad’s High Court is slated to pass judgment on an appeal to suspend Khan’s three-year prison term for corruption.

Regardless of the outcome, Khan is ineligible to run for political office for the next five years.

Legal woes aside, the stage is set for a general election. Initially anticipated in November, the national vote is expected to be postponed until early next year due to the ongoing crises.

Once a cricket hero before transitioning into politics, Khan is barred from the electoral arena, making it a race worth watching for domestic and international stakeholders.