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Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan Indicted on Official Secrets Act Charges

A Pakistani court has charged former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his deputy with violating the Official Secrets Act.

A Pakistani court indicted former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his deputy on charges related to the Official Secrets Act, dealing another blow to the former cricket star’s political career ahead of an expected general election in January.

The Classified Cable Incident:

The charges stem from a classified cable sent to Islamabad by Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington last year, which Khan is accused of making public. 

Khan vehemently denies the allegations and insists that the cable’s contents had already surfaced in the media through other sources.

Involvement of Shah Mahmood Quershi:

Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), confirmed that Khan’s deputy, former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Quershi, was also indicted in the case. 

The court proceedings are scheduled to commence on Friday, and the PTI has announced its intention to challenge the indictment.

Khan’s Claims of a U.S. Conspiracy:

Imran Khan maintains that the cable is evidence of a U.S. conspiracy to manipulate the Pakistani military into removing him from power through a parliamentary vote in 2022. 

This belief was rooted in his visit to Moscow shortly before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a claim denied by both the United States and the Pakistani military.

Imran Khan has faced numerous legal cases, which he perceives as efforts to sideline him from politics. 

He was convicted in a graft case and sentenced to three years in prison, although the sentence was suspended. He remains incarcerated on other charges, including incitement of violence and the official secrets case.

Potential Legal Ramifications:

A guilty verdict under the Official Secrets Act could result in a prison sentence of up to 14 years or even the death penalty, according to legal experts.

Monday’s court hearing took place at Adyala Jail near Islamabad, where Imran Khan is currently detained. The proceedings lacked media and public access.

Disqualification and Legal Strategies:

Imran Khan is disqualified from participating in the upcoming general election due to his prior graft conviction. However, his legal team is working to secure his release on bail before the elections.

Nawaz Sharif’s Return:

In a separate political development, Imran Khan’s longtime rival, three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has returned from self-imposed exile and launched his party’s election campaign, vowing to address inflation.

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