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    WorldJailed Ex-Pak PM Imran Khan should be released immediately; detention ‘Politically Motivated’:...

    Jailed Ex-Pak PM Imran Khan should be released immediately; detention ‘Politically Motivated’: UN Group


    ISLAMABAD: A UN group has demanded the immediate release of Pakistan's jailed former prime minister Imran Khan, saying at least two cases slapped on him were “politically motivated” and aimed to exclude him from the country's political scene.

    The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention adopted its opinion on the 71-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party founder's detention in its 99th session from March 18-27 in Geneva.

    The UN body said that Khan's detention and prosecution in the first Toshakhana corruption case and cipher cases were “politically motivated” to exclude him from competing in the political arena.

    The UN group also said that it was “without legal basis”, the Dawn newspaper reported.

    The case alleges that Khan had “deliberately concealed” details of the gifts he retained from the Toshaskhana — a repository where presents handed to government officials from foreign officials are kept — during his time as the prime minister and proceeds from their reported sales.

    It is separate from the second Toshakhana corruption case against Khan and his spouse Bibi which alleged that they retained a jewellery set received from the Saudi crown prince against an undervalued assessment.

    Listing many legal inconsistencies and irregularities in the various court proceedings of the PTI chief, the body said it was rendering its opinion on whether Khan's detention was arbitrary.

    On August 5, 2023, a trial court in Islamabad convicted the PTI founder in the first case filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and jailed him for three years.

    He was arrested by police later that same day from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore.

    The ECP had later disqualified Khan for five years following his conviction.

    However, the Islamabad High Court later suspended his three-year sentence.

    The UN body based its opinion on its source's detailed and unrebutted submissions regarding the ultra vires nature of the prosecution in the first Toshakhana case, as well as the context of the political repression of Khan and his party in which that prosecution occurred.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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