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Imran Khan should be charged with insulting election officials in Pakistan

Imran Khan should be charged with insulting election officials in Pakistan


Mr Khan appeared before a special court of the Election Commission of Pakistan with his lawyers amid tight security in the capital, Islamabad.

After a brief hearing, Shoaib Shaheen, one of Mr Khans’ lawyers, said the court decided to charge the former prime minister with contempt on August 2.

The former cricketer is accused of calling the head of the electoral body, Sikandar Sultan Rajaa, and several of his officials personal servants to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at several rallies.

A vehicle carrying Imran Khan arrives at the Election Commission of Pakistan, Islamabad (WK Yousafzai/AP)

Mr Sharif replaced Mr Khan in April 2022 after he was ousted in a vote of no confidence in Parliament.

Mr Khan has avoided court appearances for several months, saying the electorate lacks the power to hold him in contempt.

On Monday, the election watchdog ordered the arrest of Mr Khans after he repeatedly failed to appear in court to face contempt charges for his public outbursts against election commission officials.

Mr Khan was not arrested and appeared voluntarily in court on Tuesday.

Since his ousting, Mr Khan has faced more than 150 court cases, including several charges of corruption, terrorism and incitement to violence during deadly protests in May that saw his supporters attack government and military assets across the country.

Violence erupted across Pakistan in May when police arrested Mr Khan in a corruption case in a courtroom in Islamabad. Mr Khan, a cricket star turned Islamist politician, still has a huge following in Pakistan.

Security personnel with bulletproof shields guarded Mr Khan (WK Yousafzai/AP)

The days of rioting by his supporters only died down after Mr Khan was released by order of the Supreme Court.

Since then, several other courts have also granted Mr. Khan protection from arrest in several cases.

Mr Khan also appeared before the country’s Federal Investigation Agency on Tuesday to face charges of exposing a secret document.

Last week Mr Sharifs’ government said it would accuse Mr Khan of revealing an official secret document last year when he waved a confidential diplomatic letter at a rally, describing it as evidence he was under threat and claiming his ousting was a plot.

The document, dubbed Cipher, has not been made public but was apparently diplomatic correspondence between a Pakistani ambassador in Washington and the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad.

Mr Khan claims his ousting was part of a US plot, a claim that has been denied by Mr Sharif and Washington.




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