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Pakistan Election Commission disqualifies jailed former PM Imran Khan for 5 years

August 9, 2023 1:10 PM IST

Pakistan | Imran Khan | Election Commission of Pakistan | Toshakhana case | Imran Khan disqualifies from politics

In a big blow to Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced his disqualification for five years from politics, following to his conviction in the Toshakhana case. With this, Imran Khan becomes the third former PM to be disqualified from public office since 2012.

In a notification issued on August 8, the ECP cited the court order and declared Khan disqualified under Article 63(1)(h) of the Constitution read with Section 232 of the Elections Act, 2017. According to the legislation, such a conviction disqualifies a person from holding public office for a period designated by the election commission. Khan was convicted in the case which was filed last year on the complaint of the ECP which had earlier disqualified him in the same case.

Furthermore, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced an auction of all gifts in the Toshakhana, a national treasure. According to the media reports, the PM said that the generated money will be used to support orphan children. “I announce to auction all of the gifts worth millions or rupees at Toshakhana. But the whole the receipts will go nowhere else but the institutions of the orphan children whether they are welfare organizations, educational institutions or medical facilities,” he said.

All this comes after, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan received a jolt in the Toshakhana corruption case. The Islamabad-based district and sessions court sentenced him to three years in prison on August 5. PTI Chief was found guilty of benefitting from the sale of pricey official gifts while in charge. The court also fined Imran Khan one lakh Pakistani rupees, along with a six-month jail sentence if he didn’t pay the punishment.

The Toshakhana is a division of the Cabinet Division that houses gifts that foreign dignitaries and the heads of other states have given to governments and officials. Imran Khan was accused of purchasing some of the gifts, including a priceless watch, and selling the same for profit. 

Imran Khan is currently lodged in the Attock Jail. He has appealed his conviction and the three-year prison sentence in the case by filing a plea through his lawyers – Khawaja Haris and Gohar Ali Khan. He said that the trial judge made the conclusions on the basis of a “predisposed mind” instead of the merit of the case because the petitioner’s lawyer was not given the right of presenting arguments.

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