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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Gov. to File New Cases to Delay Imran Khan’s Release: Sanaullah

The government is considering filing new cases against Imran Khan to delay his release, citing his alleged agenda to spread chaos and undermine democracy.

Prime Minister’s Adviser on Political and Public Affairs, Rana Sanaullah, announced on Tuesday that the federal government might lodge new cases against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan to delay his release from jail. Sanaullah, speaking to a private TV channel, emphasized that the government would use all legal means to keep Khan detained, citing concerns over his agenda to spread chaos and anarchy in the country. “Imran Khan’s sole message is chaos and anarchy,” Sanaullah stated, adding that any dialogue could only occur if Khan moves away from promoting disorder.

Sanaullah reiterated that the government’s response will be firm if Khan continues to aim for chaos, but indicated openness to dialogue should the circumstances permit. “Our attitude will mirror his actions. We are ready to talk whenever there is an opportunity,” he said. He further criticized Khan for not believing in democratic principles, stating that no one has the mandate to harm the country. “We will ensure that Imran Khan remains detained within the bounds of the law,” he affirmed.

Legal and Political Background

Imran Khan, the deposed prime minister who was ousted via an opposition no-confidence motion in April 2022, has been facing multiple charges ranging from corruption to terrorism since his removal from office. Despite securing relief in cases such as the £190 million reference and the Toshakhana case, Khan remains behind bars due to his conviction in the iddat case. The PTI founder has been incarcerated since August last year and faced additional sentencing in other cases leading up to the February 8 elections.

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The district and sessions court is set to announce its verdict on Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi’s pleas for suspension of their sentence in the iddat case on June 27 at 3 PM. Despite these legal battles, Sanaullah downplayed fears of significant upheaval if Khan were to be released, asserting that the government would not forcefully keep him in jail but would act in line with the Constitution and the law.

Political Implications and Public Mandate

Sanaullah accused Khan of boycotting parliament following his government’s ousting and launching agitation movements against the current government. He claimed that Khan’s actions have consistently aimed at sowing anarchy, which, in his view, necessitates Khan’s continued detention for the country’s stability. Despite these allegations, Sanaullah urged Khan to engage in democratic dialogue with political rivals, stating that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) harbors no personal animosity towards him.

He acknowledged that both the PML-N and PTI received public mandates in elections but criticized Khan for allegedly resorting to violent protests, including attacks on courts and orchestrating riots, thus violating the electoral mandate. Sanaullah emphasized the importance of political dialogue in resolving national issues, advocating for a democratic approach to settle disputes. “No storm will come if the PTI founder manages to walk free from the prison,” he stated, urging Khan to come forward for talks in a democratic manner.