A Pakistani court has extended former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s jail term for an additional 14 days so that authorities could question him about allegations that he leaked national secrets.
His attorney Naeem Panjutha on Wednesday stated that the special court convened the hearings at Attock Jail, where Khan started serving a three-year prison sentence for corruption on August 5 after being convicted responsible for illegally selling state goods.
Khan might be released on bond, according to a court that postponed that sentence on Tuesday, but he was unable to leave because he was still in custody in connection with the case involving state secrets.
Since the former national cricket captain, 70, lost the position of premier in a parliamentary confidence vote in April 2022, numerous cases have been filed against him.
Khan believes the accusations against him are politically driven and that he has done nothing wrong.
According to Khan’s followers, the courts are being used to prevent their leader from running in a national election that is scheduled for later this year but may be postponed until early 2024 because he dared to question the military’s hegemonic role in Pakistani politics.
While the sentence in the graft case has been suspended, the conviction still stands, giving the Election Commission no reason to remove the five-year ban on Khan contesting elections.
Khan has been charged under the Official Secrets Act for making public the contents of a confidential cable sent by Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States and using it for political gains, according to a Federal Investigation Agency case report seen by Reuters.
His top aide, former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, has already been arrested and questioned in the case.
Khan claims that the cable demonstrates that his ouster came at the US’s request. According to Khan, the US pressured Pakistan’s military to overthrow his government because he had traveled to Russia just before its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.