In a dramatic turn of events, former Prime Minister Imran Khan faced a crushing blow as the trial court announced its verdict in the infamous Toshakhana corruption case. The trial, which had garnered immense public attention, concluded with Khan being found guilty of corrupt practices. He was arrested shortly after the verdict.
Videos have surfaced on social media showing Islamabad Police on its way to arrest Khan.
Media showing this visual as post arrest scenes pic.twitter.com/XNom2ANibS
— Syed Talat Hussain (@TalatHussain12) August 5, 2023
This decision will go in history as a Black Decision, on a Black day 5 August .
— Farid Malik (@StaunchInsafi) August 5, 2023
A sessions court in Islamabad ruled that Khan had misused his authority during his tenure as Prime Minister and sold the gift he received as the Prime Minister. He was arrested shortly after the verdict was delivered.
The news sent shockwaves through the nation and left his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), in turmoil.
The trial, held in Islamabad, ended with the judge sentencing Khan to three years in prison. Khan was not present during the hearing.
The former Prime Minister’s legal team attempted to secure pre-arrest bail, but the court denied their request. Consequently, law enforcement officials arrested Khan from his Zaman Park residence immediately after the court proceedings.
عمران خان کو کوٹ لکھپٹ جیل منتقل کیا جا رہا ہے
— PTI Punjab (@PTIPunjabPK) August 5, 2023
Additional Judge Humayun Dilawar of the district and sessions court also imposed a Rs100,000 fine on Imran Khan. If failed to pay the fine on time, the former PM would be kept in jail for another six months.
Khan was convicted in the Toshakhana case, which was filed last year on the complaint of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) which had earlier disqualified him in the same case. The verdict was delivered one day after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) overturned a session court’s decision and confirmed the validity of the Toshakhana case for initiating criminal proceedings against Khan.
The Toshakhana controversy, concerning the sale of state gifts received by the former cricketer-turned-politician, emerged as a significant national political issue following Khan’s disqualification by the ECP on October 21, 2022, due to “false statements and incorrect declaration.”
Toshakhana, which falls under the Cabinet Division, serves as the repository for gifts presented to rulers and government officials by foreign heads of state and dignitaries. Khan acquired some of these gifts, including a valuable watch, and subsequently sold them.
Besides the three-year prison sentence, the former Prime Minister faces a five-year disqualification from engaging in politics, effectively ruling him out from participating in the forthcoming general election. This outcome was widely anticipated by analysts. Moreover, there are speculations that Shah Mehmood Qureshi would assume the role of the next PTI Chairman.
Khan has denied all accusations and claims that the Toshakhana case, like 150 other cases, is a political motivated move against him. He has vowed to fight and pursue all legal options available to him.
Imran Khan gives message to the nation after his arrest. This message was recorded before his arrest and now is released on his official Twitter account. #پر_امن_ملک_گیر_احتجاج #نااہل_ہوگا_تیرا_باپ #ZamanPark #ImranKhan #BehindYouSkipper pic.twitter.com/uEYOsf9knt
— Fazal Abbas (@FazalSamtiah) August 5, 2023
Imran Khan’s lawyer Intezar Panjotha has said that a petition will be filed against the decision in high court.
In contrast to Khan’s arrest in May, there are no reports of protests anywhere in the country this time.
However, supporters of Khan are calling for peaceful protests and calling the day a
“Black Day” in the country’s history.
Black day for #Pakistan. He is the leader of our Hearts. Which is impossible to invade. May Allah SWT keep you safe Mr @ImranKhanPTI You are the epitome of bravery & character. You will always be our HERO. #ImranKhan pic.twitter.com/u6pgffhl0I
— Mishi khan (@mishilicious) August 5, 2023
No matter what, the people of Pakistan know very well Imran Khan is a good man and a bright star in the life and history of their nation. Tough times will pass, truth will prevail, and IK will end up victorious inchaa Allah.#Pakistan #ImranKhan @ImranKhanPTI @PTIofficial pic.twitter.com/WvNhYCBUNR
— د. محمد الهاشمي الحامدي (@MALHACHIMI) August 5, 2023