A court in southwest Pakistan dismissed a sedition case against the incarcerated former Prime Minister Imran Khan, his lawyer said on Monday. This development offers a glimmer of relief for the former cricket icon turned politician, who was entangled in over 150 legal cases following his removal from parliament last year.
70-year-old Khan is incarcerated in a high-security Attock prison in eastern Punjab province. His arrest followed a three-year sentence from an Islamabad court, which found him guilty of hiding assets obtained by selling gifts received during his tenure in office.
In March, a sedition case was filed against Khan in Quetta, southwestern Pakistan. The charges included incitement to violence and spreading hate against national institutions, a term referring to the military and intelligence agencies.
After Khan’s appeal, the Balochistan High Court ruled that prosecutors had not obtained necessary consent from federal or provincial authorities to file sedition charges, as reported by Reuters.
Khan’s lawyer, Iqbal Shah, stated that the Quetta High Court quashed the sedition case and halted Khan’s arrest warrants.
The recent development occurred shortly after a court in Islamabad held back its decision on Khan’s appeal against his corruption conviction. However, even if his appeal is successful, Khan’s release is improbable due to his involvement in multiple ongoing cases that could lead to his arrest.
Expected for November, a general election will likely be postponed until early next year. Khan, ineligible for candidacy and barred from political office for five years, cannot participate.