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Former Pak PM Imran Khan Gets 10-Year Jail Term For Leaking State Secrets

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New Delhi: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder and former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi have been given 10-year prison sentences by a Pakistan court in the controversial Cipher case.

Pakistan’s official media and a representative for PTI confirmed the prison sentences imposed on Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi. This legal action is associated with the disclosure of state documents and is commonly known as the cypher case.

“Former prime minister Imran Khan and PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) vice-president Qureshi have been sentenced to 10 years each inside prison in the cypher case,” a spokesman for the party told AFP.

As per Zulfiqar Bukhari, the spokesperson for Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, the court delivered the verdict at a prison in Rawalpindi.

Officials state that Imran Khan and his deputy, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, can challenge the ruling made on Tuesday in this case.

Imran Khan, the former captain of Pakistan’s men’s cricket team, faced a no-confidence motion in April 2022, leading to his removal. Currently, Khan is serving a three-year prison sentence in a corruption case.

The recent development precedes the scheduled parliamentary elections in Pakistan on February 8.

Despite not being a candidate in the upcoming elections, Imran Khan’s influence remains strong due to his grassroots support and anti-establishment stance.

Imran Khan has claimed that the legal actions against him are a conspiracy to marginalize him before the elections.

Earlier reports from the media suggested that Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party might face a ban if its founder and former prime minister, along with other key members, are convicted in cases related to the May 9 violent incidents and violation of the Secrets Act in the cypher case.

Following Tuesday’s court decision, the PTI faces slim prospects for participating in the upcoming Pakistan General Elections. Imran Khan and PTI vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi have been in custody at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail for over six months.

Since Imran Khan’s arrest in May 2023, Pakistan has witnessed violent protests, and authorities have taken strict actions against his supporters and the party.

The Pakistan Election Commission not only revoked PTI’s cricket bat symbol but also rejected the nomination papers of both Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi on various grounds.

The PTI has called for an immediate annulment of the ongoing proceedings in the ‘false and fabricated’ cypher case, demanding the release of party leader Imran Khan and vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

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