Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been arrested and handed a three-year prison sentence following a corruption conviction.
Khan and his allies argue that the charges are politically motivated, aiming to thwart his participation in the upcoming elections.
This legal ordeal is just one of several that Khan has encountered since his removal from office last year.
In 2018, Khan was elected as Prime Minister, leading a party that positioned itself as an alternative to Pakistan’s established political forces. His background as a former cricket star and support from the military contributed to his rise.
However, Khan's leadership was marred by economic instability, corruption allegations, and a strained relationship with the military.
In April 2022, he was ousted from office through a parliamentary vote, during which he claimed that a U.S.-backed "conspiracy" had orchestrated his removal.
MONTHS OF TURMOIL
Khan’s removal sparked months of protests by his supporters and vigorous public denunciations of his political adversaries.
Under the leadership of PM Shehbaz Sharif, the new government responded with a barrage of legal charges against Khan, including corruption and inciting terrorism.
Numerous prominent supporters were also detained or faced intimidation, and media professionals reported restrictions on mentioning Khan's name.
This week, Khan was arrested and sentenced to a three-year prison term for the alleged illegal sale of gifts he had received during his time as Prime Minister.
Khan vehemently denies these allegations. His legal team, intending to appeal the verdict, has revealed their inability to access Khan in detention to international media outlets.
With the conviction in place, Khan's eligibility to run for Parliament is hindered. National elections are anticipated in Pakistan this November.
In a pre-recorded video shared on social media, Khan rallied his supporters, urging them not to "remain passive at home." He emphasized his ongoing struggle for both the nation and the future of its children.