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Imran Khan's party believes it can win the general election

Discuss about the world's headlines

Re: Khan says opponents likely to try assassinating him agai

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed May 24, 2023 2:01 pm

Pakistan may ban Khan's party:

In light of recent developments in Pakistan, the country is considering banning former Prime Minister Imran Khan's political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf

Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said on Wednesday that Pakistan is considering banning former Prime Minister Imran Khan's political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The anti-Imran Khan moves come just days after political instability in the nuclear-armed nation caused by Khan's arrest on May 9 on corruption charges, before he was released on bail on court orders.

Khan, who says corruption charges have been concocted against him, is embroiled in a confrontation with the powerful military, which has ruled Pakistan directly or overseen civilian governments throughout its history. "It is under consideration to ban PTI," Asif told reporters.

"The PTI has attacked the very basis of the state, that never happened before. It can't be tolerated".

Khan's arrest sparked deadly protests across the country, with army establishments being attacked and state buildings set ablaze.

Yesterday, Khan was granted bail in eight cases as he continues to warn that the military eyes rearresting him imminently.

The former Prime Minister traveled to Rawalpindi earlier today to testify before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the £190 million National Crime Agency (NCA) scandal [Al-Qadir Trust case].

Bushra Bibi, his wife, was also granted bail in the case earlier today.

Police and Rangers have been stationed outside the NAB office in Rawalpindi ahead of his presence.

Earlier this month, Khan was detained by the military when he appeared in court in Islamabad to face corruption accusations.

According to Fawad Chaudhry, a senior official with Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, the 72-year-old was detained on the court grounds on Tuesday by operatives from the National Accountability Bureau, the country's anti-corruption organization.

Shortly after Khan passed past the entrance of the Islamabad High Court, paramilitary men and armored personnel carriers followed him. Armored trucks blocked the gate, and Khan was hauled away under tight protection.

Khan was defeated in a no-confidence vote in April of last year. During an interview with Al Mayadeen in March, the former Prime Minister proclaimed that his government was removed "through a conspiracy."

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Re: Khan says opponents likely to try assassinating him agai

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Re: Khan says opponents likely to try assassinating him agai

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Aug 06, 2023 12:53 am

Imran Khan arrested

Khan is reportedly in Islamabad at the moment after police detained him at his home in Lahore, following the accusation of illegally selling gifts worth hundreds of millions of rupees, which were originally intended for the state

A court in Islamabad, Pakistan, has issued a sentencing for former prime minister Imran Khan of three years in jail, alongside disqualifying him from politics for “corrupt practices.”

Khan was escorted by police from his home in Lahore on Saturday, after a ruling in the Toshakaha case came out, in which he was accused of illegally selling gifts worth hundreds of millions of rupees, that were originally intended for the state.

The judge said the former PM “deliberately submitted fake details” of the gifts to the court, and after expressing his frustration that his lawyers were not present in court, sentenced Khan to three years and has been banned from politics for five years.

Immediately, police detained Khan at his home, and according to the state information minister, he was taken to Islamabad. Intezar Hussain Panjutha, Khan’s lawyer, argued that the ruling will be appealed against and called the case "political victimization”.

“Khan was not given an opportunity to defend himself and say his side of the story,” he said, adding: “We wanted to provide witnesses in his favor but he was not allowed this opportunity. Khan was not given a fair trial.”

In a pre-recorded message published on X, Khan pleaded with his supporters not to stay in their homes.

    Chairman Imran Khan’s message:

    My arrest was expected & I recorded this message before my arrest.

    It is one more step in fulfilling London Plan but I want my party workers to remain peaceful, steadfast and strong.

    We bow before no one but Allah who is Al Haq. We believe in… pic.twitter.com/1kqg6HQVac
    — Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 5, 2023
This comes after Pakistan’s Supreme Court on July 25 rejected a petition from Khan to halt his trial in a case against him.

Khan has insisted he did not buy or sell state gifts in violation of the law. In Pakistan, government leaders are allowed to buy back gifts, but they aren't usually sold. If they are, individuals must declare that as income.

Khan's supporters were enraged after his arrest in a corruption case in May, and protested for several days. The bloody violence that ensued amid the police crackdown did not subside until after Khan was released by order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

https://english.almayadeen.net/news/pol ... ars-in-pri

Pakistan's most popular politician and former Prime Minister, Imran Khan, accused the West of adopting double standards in an exclusive interview for Newsweek. He said his defiance of the US policy was what led to the overthrow of his government and consequently his expulsion from office the previous year.

The former Prime Minister said the Americans disapproved of his independent foreign policy and visit to Russia, which gave domestic political forces in the nation the opportunity to influence Washington and depict him as a US foe.

The US “wanted us, through the United Nations, to condemn Russia,” said Khan, who explained that his government had arranged an agreement to import “cheap oil” and wheat from Moscow.

Khan added that, after a meeting in early March of 2022 between Pakistani and US diplomats, he was informed that unless he was removed as prime minister, there would be “consequences".

“Next day, there’s the no-confidence motion tables in the National Assembly,” Khan said. “And before that, we see that the American Embassy is meeting our parliamentarians, our backbenchers.” He added that he was “puzzled” as to why the US would “object to a deal.”

He further stated that he had written documentation attesting to the fact that the United States was orchestrating a "conspiracy" to overthrow him in a regime change.

"The US came into it thinking as I’m someone anti-American," he said, adding that for some reason, "if you don’t agree with the US foreign policy, you turn anti-American."

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Re: Khan says opponents likely to try assassinating him agai

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Aug 09, 2023 12:26 pm

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Khan barred from politics

The Pakistani government banned former Prime Minister Imran Khan from politics for five years, just days after announcing a three-year prison term against the popular leader over "corrupt practices", Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing a senior official

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued an order to "disqualify" Khan for five years, which is the maximum period a convicted individual can receive under Pakistani law and as defined by the ECP.

"Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi is disqualified for a period of five years," the ECP order said, as per the news site.

"We knew this was inevitable," Khan's aide Zulfikar Bukhari told Reuters, stressing that the party will challenge the decision in the high court.

"We're highly confident it will be reversed," Bukhari said.

An appeal filed by the former Prime Minister's legal team will be looked into by the Islamabad High Court on Wednesday, his lawyer Naeem Panjutha said.

Khan, who has denied all allegations, was escorted by police from his home in Lahore last Saturday, after a ruling in the Toshakaha case came out, in which he was accused of illegally selling gifts worth hundreds of millions of rupees originally intended for the state.

Intezar Hussain Panjutha, another lawyer of Khan, argued that the ruling will be appealed against and called the case "political victimization”.

“Khan was not given an opportunity to defend himself and say his side of the story,” he said, adding, “We wanted to provide witnesses in his favor but he was not allowed this opportunity. Khan was not given a fair trial.”

According to Reuters, the petition described the conviction as "without lawful authority, tainted with bias."

It said the court had rejected a list of witnesses for the defense a day before reaching its verdict, calling this a "gross travesty of justice, and a slap in the face of due process and fair trial."

Fueling instability

As Pakistan country suffers an economic crisis, the ousting of the widely-popular Khan last year represented a major challenge to the Asian country's political scene.

All eyes should be focused on the upcoming November elections after placing Khan out of the race for now, South Asia Institute director at the Washington-based Wilson Center, Michael Kugelman, told Reuters.

Any delay in the elections would lead to putting more fuel on the already-burning political environment and exacerbate public outrage, Kugelman warned.

"That volatility and uncertainty could have implications for political stability but also the economy if foreign investors and donors become reluctant to deploy more capital in such an environment," he said.

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Re: Khan sentenced to 3 yea, barred from politics for 5 year

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Aug 10, 2023 8:55 pm

US pressure to oust Khan

A confidential Pakistani government document acquired by The Intercept shows how the US State Department pressured the Pakistani government in March 2022 to oust Imran Khan due to his neutral position on Russia

According to a classified document obtained by The Intercept, the US State Department pressured the Pakistani government to oust Imran Khan as prime minister due to his neutral stance on Russia's war in Ukraine.

The document, which details a meeting between Pakistan's ambassador to the United States and two State Department officials, has been the subject of considerable scrutiny and discord in Pakistan over the last year and a half.

A court in Islamabad sentenced Khan to three years in jail, alongside disqualifying him from politics for “corrupt practices".

Khan was escorted by police from his home in Lahore on Saturday, after a ruling in the Toshakaha case came out, in which he was accused of illegally selling gifts worth hundreds of millions of rupees originally intended for the state.

Khan's supporters were enraged after his arrest in an alleged corruption case in May and protested for several days. The bloody violence that ensued amid the police crackdown did not subside until after Khan was released by order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

A no-confidence vote a month after the meeting with US officials led to Khan's fall from power. The meeting included Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu and Asad Majeed Khan, then-ambassador to the US.

Known as "Cypher", the never-seen-before Pakistani cable entails the itty-gritty tactics used by the US in its campaign against Khan, promising closer relations if Khan was removed.

'All to be forgiven' in Washington

The paper was handed to The Intercept by an unnamed source in Pakistan's military who claimed to have no links to Imran Khan or his party. The US organization published the contents with some minor corrections.

The cable details how the meeting occurred two weeks after the war in Ukraine began, during which Khan was on his way to Moscow. The US rejected Khan's position on the Ukraine war, a position that immediately changed after he was removed.

During a Senate hearing on March 2, days before the meeting, Lu was questioned regarding India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan's neutrality over the Ukraine war. Lu responded to a question from Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., about Pakistan's abstention from a UN resolution condemning Russia by stating that the US was "trying to figure out how to engage specifically with the Prime Minister following that decision."

Van Hollen seemed unhappy that State officials were yet to contact Khan regarding his position on Russia.

A day before the meeting, Khan publicly questioned Europe's demands that Pakistan should support Ukraine, stating, “Are we your slaves?”

“We are friends of Russia, and we are also friends of the United States. We are friends of China and Europe. We are not part of any alliance.”

According to the document, Lu was vocal about the US' unhappiness about Pakistan's position on Russia and revealed that if the no-confidence vote goes through "all will be forgiven in Washington," adding that the Russia visit will be considered a decision by Khan himself alone.

He warned, however, that if the vote failed, Pakistan would be "isolated".
Miller denies interfering in 'internal matters'

When questioned about the cable, State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller refused to comment on "private diplomatic discussions."

The Pakistani Ambassador expressed his frustration that while the US "expected Pakistan’s support on all issues that were important to the U.S., it did not reciprocate.”

The Ambassador hoped the country's position on the Ukraine war would not impact "our bilateral ties," while Lu assured him that if Khan was ousted, things would go back to normal.

Arif Rafiq, a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute and specialist on Pakistan expressed that after the meeting, Khan's fate was expected, as the Biden administration had sent a message to the people that the situation would improve if Khan was removed. On March 8, opponents of Khan proceeded with the vote.

Miller also added that the US only "expressed concern" about Khan's visit to Russia and that the claims that the US "interfered in internal decisions about the leadership of Pakistan are false."

The State Department repeatedly denied that Lu encouraged the Pakistani government to depose Khan. Previously, Khan said there was a cable corroborating his accusation of US intervention on April 8, 2022, which State Department Spokesperson Jalina Porter was questioned about its credibility. "Let me just say very bluntly, there is absolutely no truth to these allegations," Porter claimed at the time.

The bottom of the cable includes an assessment that details Don "could not have conveyed such a strong demarche without the express approval of the White House."

Khan reiterated his claims in an interview for The Intercept in June.

Khan's supporters and political party were met with a crackdown in recent months for their support, something that has been ignored by the US. In a recent visit in July, the head of US Central Command, Gen. Michael Kurilla, stated that his visit focused on “strengthening the military-to-military relations."

This summer, Rep. Greg Casar, D-Texas, attempted to add a measure to the National Defense Authorization Act directing the State Department to examine democratic backsliding in Pakistan, but it was denied a vote on the House floor.

While the US has made itself a champion for democracy in other countries, Miller responded to a question on Monday regarding fairness in Khan's trial by calling it "an internal matter for Pakistan.”

"Internal matters" have seldom ever stopped the US from interfering in other nations.

Press crackdown

Khan's deposition triggered numerous protests amid an economic crisis and global energy inflation. To add to this, The Intercept previously reported that the Pakistani military has attempted to enforce extreme censorship, stopping news outlets from barely mentioning Khan's name.

The onslaught on Pakistan's press took an especially sinister turn after Arshad Sharif, a famous journalist who fled Pakistan, was shot dead in Nairobi in October and Imran Riaz Khan, a renowned journalist, was taken by security authorities at an airport in May and unseen since. Both were allegedly reporting on the secret cable.

In November 2022, Khan survived an assassination attempt. Pakistani news channel Geo stated that he was injured in the leg after an anonymous attacker shot his convoy, leading to the injury of five other people from his party, Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Rafiq, the Middle East Institute scholar, believes the "flimsy charges" brought against Khan, along with his attempted assassination, point to the fact that Pakistani forces are using "outside forces to preserve their hegemony over the country." He pointed to how the Biden administration is turning a blind eye to Pakistan becoming "a full-fledged military dictatorship."

The Intercept's source, who accessed the document as a military worker, expressed fear that the military is driving Pakistan into a crisis comparable to the one that led to Bangladesh's separation in 1971. The source expressed hope that the leaked document would force a change within the military of Pakistan.

Since his removal, Pakistan has openly been more critical of Russia, reinforcing the document's claims that the neutrality toward Russia was Khan's position and not the military's. Former Army Chief Qamar called Russia's operation an "invasion" and a “huge tragedy".

Pakistan has also contributed weapons to Ukraine, something confirmed by an EU official earlier.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister visited Pakistan in July, ostensibly for military cooperation but publicly presented as focused on commerce, education, and environmental problems.

The move has reportedly been compensated by the US, with a Pakistani publication detailing a pact between the two containing "joint exercises, operations, training, basing, and equipment."

Khan addressed the cable publicly on March 27, 2022, waving documents in the air during a protest. He also allegedly briefed the leaders of Pakistan's major security agencies on its contents at a national security meeting.

Shehbaz Sharif, the new Prime Minister, admitted to the existence of the cable and considered some of Lu's statements "inappropriate".

According to The Intercept, the revelation of its contents a year after Khan was removed will allow all claims to be properly investigated. At the most, the document shows the US practically warned of severe repercussions if Khan were to not be removed.

Lu explicitly states in the document that if Khan stays in office, he believes the "isolation...will become very strong from Europe and the United States."

In July, Khan appeared before the country's Federal Investigation Agency to face allegations of leaking a confidential document. Sharif's administration vowed that it will punish Khan for "exposing an official secret document" last year when he displayed a sensitive diplomatic letter at a rally, saying it was "proof" that he was threatened.

In July, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah revealed that Khan would be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act in connection with the cable, accusing him of "a hatched a conspiracy against the state’s interests."

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Re: US exerted pressure on Pakistan to oust Khan

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Aug 20, 2023 9:51 pm

Pakistani election delayed

Pakistani Parliament Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf talks to Al Mayadeen in an exclusive interview, his first with an Arab media channel

The Pakistani elections are expected to be delayed around 3-4 months from October, Pakistani Parliament Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf told Al Mayadeen's Proximate Aspect on Wednesday.

The Pakistani official discussed various domestic issues during his first interview with an Arab TV channel, including the general election, investments in Pakistan, and the numerous issues pertaining to former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Citing the elections as "very important", Ashraf highlighted the recent population census undertaken by the Pakistani government. This led to a decision to reconfigure electoral constituencies, a process projected to require substantial time, ultimately contributing to the election delay.

Speaking on the role of the Pakistani army in safeguarding investments, the Pakistani parliament speaker underlined the collective awareness of national challenges among government institutions, the military, and the people. He emphasized the optimistic aspect of the army's collaboration with the government and the populace with the aim of boosting the economy, notably the agricultural sector.

Addressing the ousting of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, Ashraf highlighted that this marked the first instance where a government led by Khan faced removal due to a political and parliamentary maneuver. Losing the majority in parliament led to a vote of no confidence and Khan's subsequent resignation.

Elaborating on Khan's response to his removal, Ashraf detailed that Khan opted for public protests and boycotting the National Assembly. However, these actions did not resonate with the MPs who prioritized productive legislative enactments benefiting the nation.

Governance remained a focal point, with Ashraf accentuating the importance of elected representatives' responsibility, dictated by the Pakistani constitution and the people they represent.

Imran Khan is currently imprisoned and barred from running for office for five years, while Kakar, 52, takes over the leadership of a nation that has been plagued by political and economic upheaval for months.

Since Khan was ousted as Prime Minister following a no-confidence vote in April 2022, the nation has seen political unrest, which culminated in his three-year graft prison sentence this weekend.

Although he has been barred from holding public office for five years, he is appealing his conviction and punishment.

With over 200 legal cases thrown at him, Khan asserts that these charges are politically driven, aimed at obstructing his participation in elections. His initial arrest and short detention in May led to several days of occasionally violent protests, marked by an unprecedented level of anger directed toward the military.

In recent months, authorities have taken a tough stance against Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, crushing his grassroots power by rounding up thousands of his supporters and officials.

The authorities responded with a severe crackdown that effectively quelled his street influence. Numerous of his supporters were apprehended, with some still held in custody to face military tribunals, while a majority of the party's leaders were arrested or went into hiding. Anticipated to be primarily composed of technocrats, the interim government will confront a challenging undertaking.

On matters of national security, Ashraf turned his attention to the Pakistani armed forces, highlighting their resolute battle against terrorism and underlining their substantial sacrifices. He sees the strength of the military as pivotal in the defense of the nation.

The Pakistani parliament speaker concluded by underscoring Pakistanis' profound reverence for their armed forces and their pivotal role in safeguarding the nation.

Pakistan's President Arif Alvi ordered the dissolution of the country's parliament earlier in August, which will allow the caretaker government to usher in elections as its ex-Premier Imran Khan remained imprisoned.

A statement from the office of Pakistan's President said he had disbanded parliament following the advice of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who was quoted saying, "This country cannot progress until we have national unity."

In an unusual collaboration, the typically conflicting dynastic parties of Pakistan, which united to remove Khan from power, have garnered limited popular support while governing the world's fifth-most populous nation. Meanwhile, the country's economy remains sluggish. This is due to substantial foreign debt, a sharp rise in inflation, and widespread unemployment due to factories being inactive, as they lack the foreign currency required to purchase raw materials.

https://english.almayadeen.net/news/pol ... elayed:-ex
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Re: US exerted pressure on Pakistan to oust Khan

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Aug 24, 2023 8:32 am

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Court greenlights interrogation

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to be interrogated by the anti-terrorism court of Pakistan regarding events that took place on May 9 in Lahore

In a case related to the attack on Jinnah House, the Corps Commander House in Lahore Cantonment, the anti-terrorism court in Pakistan gave local police the greenlight to arrest and interrogate former Prime Minister of Pakistan and Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman, Imran Khan.

The incident in question had taken place on May 9 during mayhem after the police attempted to arrest Khan. Currently, Khan has been arrested and convicted leaving him to serve three years at Attock jail.

Citing a senior official, on August 9, Reuters reported that the Pakistani government banned former Prime Minister Imran Khan from politics for five years, just days after announcing a three-year prison term against the popular leader over "corrupt practices".

In turn, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued an order to "disqualify" Khan for five years, which is the maximum period a convicted individual can receive under Pakistani law and as defined by the ECP.

"Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi is disqualified for a period of five years," the ECP order said, as per the news site.

However, Khan's aide Zulfikar Bukhari told Reuters "We knew this was inevitable," stressing that the party will challenge the decision in the high court.

"We're highly confident it will be reversed," Bukhari said.

An appeal filed by the former Prime Minister's legal team will be looked into by the Islamabad High Court on Wednesday, his lawyer Naeem Panjutha said.

Khan was escorted by police from his home in Lahore, despite having denied all allegations, after a ruling in the Toshakaha case came out, in which he was accused of illegally selling gifts worth hundreds of millions of rupees initially intended for the state.

Khan was ousted as Prime Minister following a no-confidence vote in April 2022, and the nation had since witnessed political unrest, which culminated in his three-year graft prison sentence.

Moreover, Khan has appealed his conviction although he has been officially barred from holding public office for five years.

With over 200 legal cases thrown at him, Khan asserts that these charges are politically driven, and are aimed at obstructing his participation in elections. His initial arrest and short detention in May led to several days of occasionally violent protests, marked by an unprecedented level of anger directed toward the military.

Pakistani parliament speaker says election to be delayed: Exclusive

The Pakistani elections are expected to be delayed around 3-4 months from October, Pakistani Parliament Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf told Al Mayadeen's Proximate Aspect this Wednesday.

The Pakistani official discussed domestic issues during his first interview with an Arab TV channel, including the general election, investments in Pakistan, and the numerous issues pertaining to former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Citing the elections as "very important", Ashraf highlighted the recent population census undertaken by the Pakistani government. This led to a decision to reconfigure electoral constituencies, a process projected to require substantial time, ultimately contributing to the election delay.

Speaking on the role of the Pakistani army in safeguarding investments, the Pakistani parliament speaker underlined the collective awareness of national challenges among government institutions, the military, and the people. He emphasized the optimistic aspect of the army's collaboration with the government and the populace with the aim of boosting the economy, notably the agricultural sector.

Addressing the ousting of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, Ashraf highlighted that this marked the first instance where a government led by Khan faced removal due to a political and parliamentary maneuver. Losing the majority in parliament led to a vote of no confidence and Khan's subsequent resignation.

Elaborating on Khan's response to his removal, Ashraf detailed that Khan opted for public protests and boycotting the National Assembly. However, these actions did not resonate with the MPs who prioritized productive legislative enactments benefiting the nation.

Governance remained a focal point, with Ashraf accentuating the importance of elected representatives' responsibility, dictated by the Pakistani constitution and the people they represent.

https://english.almayadeen.net/news/pol ... in-may-9-m
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Re: US exerted pressure on Pakistan to oust Khan

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Aug 24, 2023 8:41 am

US exerted pressure to oust Khan

A confidential Pakistani government document acquired by The Intercept shows how the US State Department pressured the Pakistani government in March 2022 to oust Imran Khan due to his neutral position on Russia

According to a classified document obtained by The Intercept, the US State Department pressured the Pakistani government to oust Imran Khan as prime minister due to his neutral stance on Russia's war in Ukraine.

The document, which details a meeting between Pakistan's ambassador to the United States and two State Department officials, has been the subject of considerable scrutiny and discord in Pakistan over the last year and a half.

A court in Islamabad sentenced Khan to three years in jail, alongside disqualifying him from politics for “corrupt practices".

Khan was escorted by police from his home in Lahore on Saturday, after a ruling in the Toshakaha case came out, in which he was accused of illegally selling gifts worth hundreds of millions of rupees originally intended for the state.

Khan's supporters were enraged after his arrest in an alleged corruption case in May and protested for several days. The bloody violence that ensued amid the police crackdown did not subside until after Khan was released by order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

A no-confidence vote a month after the meeting with US officials led to Khan's fall from power. The meeting included Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu and Asad Majeed Khan, then-ambassador to the US.

Known as "Cypher", the never-seen-before Pakistani cable entails the itty-gritty tactics used by the US in its campaign against Khan, promising closer relations if Khan was removed.

'All to be forgiven' in Washington

The paper was handed to The Intercept by an unnamed source in Pakistan's military who claimed to have no links to Imran Khan or his party. The US organization published the contents with some minor corrections.

    The cable details how the meeting occurred two weeks after the war in Ukraine began, during which Khan was on his way to Moscow. The US rejected Khan's position on the Ukraine war, a position that immediately changed after he was removed
During a Senate hearing on March 2, days before the meeting, Lu was questioned regarding India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan's neutrality over the Ukraine war. Lu responded to a question from Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., about Pakistan's abstention from a UN resolution condemning Russia by stating that the US was "trying to figure out how to engage specifically with the Prime Minister following that decision."

Van Hollen seemed unhappy that State officials were yet to contact Khan regarding his position on Russia.

    A day before the meeting, Khan publicly questioned Europe's demands that Pakistan should support Ukraine, stating, “Are we your slaves?”

    “We are friends of Russia, and we are also friends of the United States. We are friends of China and Europe. We are not part of any alliance.”
According to the document, Lu was vocal about the US' unhappiness about Pakistan's position on Russia and revealed that if the no-confidence vote goes through "all will be forgiven in Washington," adding that the Russia visit will be considered a decision by Khan himself alone.

He warned, however, that if the vote failed, Pakistan would be "isolated".
Miller denies interfering in 'internal matters'

When questioned about the cable, State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller refused to comment on "private diplomatic discussions."

The Pakistani Ambassador expressed his frustration that while the US "expected Pakistan’s support on all issues that were important to the U.S., it did not reciprocate.”

The Ambassador hoped the country's position on the Ukraine war would not impact "our bilateral ties," while Lu assured him that if Khan was ousted, things would go back to normal.

Arif Rafiq, a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute and specialist on Pakistan expressed that after the meeting, Khan's fate was expected, as the Biden administration had sent a message to the people that the situation would improve if Khan was removed. On March 8, opponents of Khan proceeded with the vote.

Miller also added that the US only "expressed concern" about Khan's visit to Russia and that the claims that the US "interfered in internal decisions about the leadership of Pakistan are false."

The State Department repeatedly denied that Lu encouraged the Pakistani government to depose Khan. Previously, Khan said there was a cable corroborating his accusation of US intervention on April 8, 2022, which State Department Spokesperson Jalina Porter was questioned about its credibility. "Let me just say very bluntly, there is absolutely no truth to these allegations," Porter claimed at the time.

The bottom of the cable includes an assessment that details Don "could not have conveyed such a strong demarche without the express approval of the White House."

Khan reiterated his claims in an interview for The Intercept in June.

Khan's supporters and political party were met with a crackdown in recent months for their support, something that has been ignored by the US. In a recent visit in July, the head of US Central Command, Gen. Michael Kurilla, stated that his visit focused on “strengthening the military-to-military relations."

This summer, Rep. Greg Casar, D-Texas, attempted to add a measure to the National Defense Authorization Act directing the State Department to examine democratic backsliding in Pakistan, but it was denied a vote on the House floor.

While the US has made itself a champion for democracy in other countries, Miller responded to a question on Monday regarding fairness in Khan's trial by calling it "an internal matter for Pakistan.”

"Internal matters" have seldom ever stopped the US from interfering in other nations.
Press crackdown

Khan's deposition triggered numerous protests amid an economic crisis and global energy inflation. To add to this, The Intercept previously reported that the Pakistani military has attempted to enforce extreme censorship, stopping news outlets from barely mentioning Khan's name.

The onslaught on Pakistan's press took an especially sinister turn after Arshad Sharif, a famous journalist who fled Pakistan, was shot dead in Nairobi in October and Imran Riaz Khan, a renowned journalist, was taken by security authorities at an airport in May and unseen since. Both were allegedly reporting on the secret cable.

In November 2022, Khan survived an assassination attempt. Pakistani news channel Geo stated that he was injured in the leg after an anonymous attacker shot his convoy, leading to the injury of five other people from his party, Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Rafiq, the Middle East Institute scholar, believes the "flimsy charges" brought against Khan, along with his attempted assassination, point to the fact that Pakistani forces are using "outside forces to preserve their hegemony over the country." He pointed to how the Biden administration is turning a blind eye to Pakistan becoming "a full-fledged military dictatorship."

The Intercept's source, who accessed the document as a military worker, expressed fear that the military is driving Pakistan into a crisis comparable to the one that led to Bangladesh's separation in 1971. The source expressed hope that the leaked document would force a change within the military of Pakistan.

Since his removal, Pakistan has openly been more critical of Russia, reinforcing the document's claims that the neutrality toward Russia was Khan's position and not the military's. Former Army Chief Qamar called Russia's operation an "invasion" and a “huge tragedy".

Pakistan has also contributed weapons to Ukraine, something confirmed by an EU official earlier.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister visited Pakistan in July, ostensibly for military cooperation but publicly presented as focused on commerce, education, and environmental problems.

The move has reportedly been compensated by the US, with a Pakistani publication detailing a pact between the two containing "joint exercises, operations, training, basing, and equipment."

Khan addressed the cable publicly on March 27, 2022, waving documents in the air during a protest. He also allegedly briefed the leaders of Pakistan's major security agencies on its contents at a national security meeting.

Shehbaz Sharif, the new Prime Minister, admitted to the existence of the cable and considered some of Lu's statements "inappropriate".

According to The Intercept, the revelation of its contents a year after Khan was removed will allow all claims to be properly investigated. At the most, the document shows the US practically warned of severe repercussions if Khan were to not be removed.

Lu explicitly states in the document that if Khan stays in office, he believes the "isolation...will become very strong from Europe and the United States."

In July, Khan appeared before the country's Federal Investigation Agency to face allegations of leaking a confidential document. Sharif's administration vowed that it will punish Khan for "exposing an official secret document" last year when he displayed a sensitive diplomatic letter at a rally, saying it was "proof" that he was threatened.

In July, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah revealed that Khan would be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act in connection with the cable, accusing him of "a hatched a conspiracy against the state’s interests."

https://english.almayadeen.net/news/pol ... stan-to-ou
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Re: US exerted pressure on Pakistan to oust Khan

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Nov 29, 2023 3:25 am

Imran Khan trial from jail is illegal

Imran Khan's trial within prison walls is "illegal" and "unconstitutional", one of his lawyers has told Sky News

It follows a court document, seen by Sky News, ordering an "open trial" for Pakistan's former prime minister - despite it being held inside Adiala jail, near Islamabad.

    But a lawyer for his political party PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf), Hafiz Qaiser Hajvery, has said the trial is far from open
"A trial in jail cannot be open. What we are seeing is unlawful," he said. "This so-called 'open' trial is the killing of justice in Pakistan.

"It's illegal, unconstitutional and violates human rights."

Khan - who was the country's prime minister from 2018 to April 2022 - has been held in Adiala jail since the end of September, for the alleged leaking of state secrets and a slew of other charges.

He denies the charges, and says they are a ploy from the government and military to keep him away from the upcoming general election, on 8 February.

The court order justifies the jail trial with reference to Mr Khan's safety.

It states "threat assessments" of the 71-year-old "cannot be disregarded lightly".

Mr Hajvery, however, alleged this was a "fix" to "humiliate Imran Khan".

The Islamabad High Court last week ruled that holding Khan's trial in prison on security grounds was illegal - and ordered it restarted in an open court.

But despite the ruling, the court document today posits the jail trial "shall be in an open court" from Friday, with lawyers, some family members and "members of the public and all those, who wish to attend the trial proceedings".

The key bit, Mr Hajvery told Sky News, is the caveat that comes next: "So far as they can be accommodated in the courtroom.

"There is no such thing as open court or a fair trial. Here in Pakistan there is no rule of law.

"Will the jail allow media representatives inside the prison? They have not so far.

"The court ordered the jail holding Imran Khan to present him at trial - but they did not.

"The High Court has categorically said there must be an open trial."

Mr Hajvery added: "What we are seeing is a violation of a high court decision."

The cipher charge at the centre of this is related to a classified cable sent to Islamabad by Pakistan's ambassador in Washington early last year, which Khan is accused of making public.

    At the time, Khan held up the letter, claiming it was proof that he was being threatened and that his ousting was a US conspiracy allegedly executed by the military and the government in Pakistan - claims denied by both Washington and Pakistani officials
Khan denies making the document public and says its contents appeared in the media from other sources.

Sky News has contacted Pakistan's Ministry of Human Rights and Public Prosecution Department for comment.

https://news.sky.com/story/imran-khan-f ... s-13018476
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Re: US exerted pressure on Pakistan to oust Khan

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jan 31, 2024 12:01 am

Imran Khan sentenced to 10 years jail :((

Khan and his deputy Shah Mahmood Qureshi sentenced in so-called cypher case, about a week before the February 8 general elections

A Pakistan court has sentenced former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his close aide, former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, to 10 years in jail in a case related to the leaking of state secrets.

The special court set up in a prison in Rawalpindi on Tuesday announced the sentence in the so-called cypher case, which pertains to a diplomatic cable that Khan claims proves his allegation that his removal from power in 2022 was a conspiracy.

The court established under the Official Secrets Act found Khan guilty of misusing the confidential cable sent by a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States.

    Khan has repeatedly denied the charge, saying the document contained evidence that his removal as prime minister was a plot hatched by his political opponents and the powerful military, with help from the US administration. Washington and the Pakistani army reject the accusation
Khan was Pakistan’s premier from August 2018 to April 2022 when he lost a vote of confidence in the parliament. He has been in jail since August last year, facing trial in multiple cases.

Trial held in ‘unlawful manner’

The sentencing against the country’s main opposition leader comes about a week before the general elections, scheduled on February 8.

Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari, a spokesperson for Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, told Al Jazeera the PTI will challenge the court’s decision.

“This was pretty much a writing on the wall,” he said, adding that the trial was held in an “unlawful manner”.

“Our lawyers were not allowed to represent Imran Khan. They were not even allowed to cross-examine the witnesses. What was unfolding in the court was merely a charade and a sham,” Bukhari said.

It is Khan’s second conviction in less than a year. In August, he was sentenced to three years in a corruption case, which barred him from contesting the national elections.

    The vote follows a massive crackdown against the PTI, which saw dozens of its leaders quitting the party and thousands of its members and supporters jailed
Recently, the party also lost its election symbol – a cricket bat – and had been forced to field its candidates as independents.

But Bukhari said the verdict against Khan and Qureshi will only work in favour of the beleaguered party.

    “With the sentence coming at a time when elections are less than 10 days away, it will only motivate our supporters and help them come out in droves. It looks like the authorities want to suppress the PTI and its voter base, but their acts will only drive us to vote in bigger numbers,” he told Al Jazeera (let's hope so)
Political analyst Benazir Shah said it was “clear from the very onset of the court proceedings [against Khan] that the state had little interest in fairly investigating the case, regardless of its serious nature”.

“The state was instead using it as just another means to block Khan from coming to power post the elections,” she told Al Jazeera, adding that it was “deeply troubling” that the trial was “shrouded in secrecy, preventing journalists from covering the proceedings despite court orders of an open trial”.

Lawyer Abdul Moiz Jaferii said the sentencing required there should be a “deliberate and wilful” leaking of state secrets in collusion with an enemy, with the understanding that it would be detrimental to the state.

“I can’t wait to see how the trial court squares this circle. And who the enemy is with which Khan and Qureshi wanted to collude with,” he told Al Jazeera.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/1/3 ... crets-case
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Re: Pakistan: Imran Khan illegally sentenced to 10 years jai

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Feb 02, 2024 11:11 pm

Imran Khan Claims He Defied US Pressure (TRUE)
    Urges People To Use 'Weapon of Vote'
Imran Khan said the unfolding of the Toshakhana, Cipher, and Iddat cases only highlights their frivolous, baseless, and politically motivated nature

Days ahead of the February 8 general elections in Pakistan, jailed former prime minister Imran Khan on Friday claimed had he not challenged the US might, no premier in Pakistan could have dared to withstand such blatant foreign interference in its internal matters in the future. Khan, currently lodged at the high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, took to X to explain why he was ’punished’ in several concocted cases and also urged the people to use the weapon of vote in the elections to overthrow the crooks.

Khan, 71, handed down 10- and 14-years imprisonment for revealing the state secrets and selling state gifting, respectively, has been imprisoned since August last year. His party symbol, the cricket bat, has been snatched away, his and his party leaders’ nomination papers have been rejected and earlier this week, one of his party leaders was killed in poll-related violence. It is believed that his X handle is being used by his relatives to post messages on behalf of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf: founder.

When the cipher case emerged, I warned that unless we dealt with it decisively, no Prime Minister in the future would be able to withstand such blatant foreign interference in Pakistan’s internal matters. General Musharraf also surrendered to the US’ threats of bombing Pakistan into Stone Age,’ he said.

Khan further said the unfolding of the Toshakhana, Cipher, and Iddat cases only highlights their frivolous, baseless, and politically motivated nature. But to appease their masters, who orchestrated the regime change operation, I was deprived of my legal right of cross-examining the witness or presenting my witnesses, as the handlers knew that it would unmask another great betrayal in our political history just like that of Mir Jaffer of Bengal, he said.

He was referring to an 18th century Bengal ruler (in undivided India), who ditched his Mughal master to join hands with the British to consolidate his position.

https://www.news18.com/world/imran-khan ... 64302.html
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Re: Pakistan: Imran Khan illegally sentenced to 10 years jai

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Feb 03, 2024 9:37 pm

Imran Khan and wife jailed for illegal marriage

A Pakistani court has jailed Imran Khan and his wife for seven years after voiding their marriage, in the latest sentence against the ex-prime minister

The court ruled that Khan's 2018 marriage with Bushra Bibi, a faith healer, was un-Islamic and illegal.

He is already in jail for corruption. Last Wednesday, a week before a general election, the pair were convicted of profiting from state gifts.

Khan, 71, has said the numerous cases against him are politically motivated.

Pakistan's former cricket captain-turned-politician was ousted as prime minister in 2022.

A court was set up inside the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, where Khan is serving his previous sentences, for the latest case.

The complaint was filed by Bibi's ex-husband, who said her marriage with Khan had been fraudulent.

Under Muslim family law, women are prohibited from remarrying for a few months after their husband dies or they are divorced. The court found that Bibi had remarried before the completion of the stipulated time following her divorce.

As well as the seven-year jail sentence, the court imposed a fine of 500,000 rupees ($1,800; £1,420) on Khan and Bibi.

The couple married in 2018, months before Khan was elected prime minister. Bibi, a spiritual healer believed to be in her 40s and always wears a veil in public, is Khan's third wife.

Khan had a playboy reputation in his cricketing years before he settled down to a society marriage with British socialite Jemima Goldsmith in 1995. The marriage lasted nine years and produced two sons.

A second marriage in 2015, to journalist and former BBC weather presenter Reham Khan, lasted less than a year.

Saturday's prison sentence is Khan's third in less than a week. On Tuesday, he was jailed for 10 years for leaking classified documents.

Wednesday's court case centred on accusations that he and his wife had sold or kept state gifts received in office, including jewellery from the Saudi Crown Prince.

Both were given 14-year sentences in that case. The court ruled that Bushra Bibi was allowed to serve hers under house arrest.

Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has said he was tried by "kangaroo courts".

Even before the latest sentences were handed down, many were questioning the credibility of next week's election as Khan and his party have been sidelined.

The authorities deny carrying out a crackdown, but many of PTI leaders are behind bars or have defected.

Thousands of the party's supporters were rounded up after protests - at times violent - when Khan was taken into custody last year.

The man tipped to win is three-time former PM Nawaz Sharif.

He was jailed for corruption ahead of the 2018 election that Imran Khan won. Many analysts say he is now favoured by Pakistan's powerful military establishment.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-68192196
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Re: Pakistan: Imran Khan illegally sentenced to 10 years jai

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Feb 04, 2024 2:18 am

How Imran Khan plans to win election from jail

Imran Khan's candidates have been addressing rallies via big screens rather than attending in person

From prime minister to prison in less than two years, Imran Khan and his party have fallen dramatically from political grace.

But the PTI says it has not given up its belief that it can win this week's general election in Pakistan, despite its founder being jailed in cases he says are politically motivated, and barred from running for office.

The party is aiming to overcome the authorities' crackdown with the help of a social media fightback - and new candidates, many of them untested.

Rehena Dar is being swept along the back roads of Sialkot, past the posters of her face plastered on the narrow street corners of this city in Punjab province. Her way is cleared by the sound of beating drums as rose petals shower her from above.

If becoming a politician unexpectedly in her 70s has taken her by surprise, she doesn't show it for a second. The fears which have driven many of her fellow candidates underground or out of politics seem to have been shrugged off.

"It is very good that the proud sons and daughters, brothers and mothers of my city Sialkot are standing with me," she shouts with the confidence of someone who has worked the electorate for years.

"I am with Imran Khan and I will stay with Imran Khan. If I am left alone in public, I will still carry Imran Khan's flag and take to the streets."

Rehena Dar has been overtly campaigning for Imran Khan despite being an independent candidate

A quick glance around certainly indicates that is true. The small crowd that has gathered around Mrs Dar hold Imran Khan's image aloft, while flags for his PTI flutter overhead.

And yet, Mrs Dar is not a PTI candidate. Instead, she - like all their candidates - is technically an independent, following the electoral commission's decision to strip the PTI of its cricket bat symbol.

It may seem a small decision, but in a country with an illiteracy rate of 58%, having a recognisable symbol the candidates use on the ballot paper is crucial. Now each candidate has their own alternative symbol; Mrs Dar's is a baby's cot, others have items ranging from a kettle to a saxophone.

The decision is just one of the myriad barriers that the PTI says have been placed in its way as it gears up for the election on 8 February.

But it has continued to fight. Whether it be candidates pounding the streets like Mrs Dar, or technology that transports a leader from a jail cell to the head of a rally, it's proving it's willing to throw everything it has into this battle.

Pro-Khan candidates have been using technology rather than traditional campaigning to get the jailed ex-PM's message out

During the last election it was Mrs Dar's son, Usman, leading the group through Sialkot. He was a senior PTI leader and served as a special adviser on youth affairs under former PM Imran Khan.

But in early October, after disappearing for three weeks according to his family, he appeared on television to say that Imran Khan had been the "mastermind of the 9 May riots".

Nationwide protests, some of which became violent, erupted on that day last year after Imran Khan was arrested. Hundreds of Khan's supporters were arrested, accused of being involved in attacking military buildings, including the residence of the most senior military official in Lahore.

Khan was released, but the crackdown on his party continued.

In the weeks and months after the protests, politicians in his party announced their resignation from the PTI or from politics altogether. They included many of his senior leadership, which the authorities argued were an indication that Khan's old supporters didn't want to be associated with a party that bore the responsibility of the unrest.

The PTI said the resignations were forced.

Whichever is true, Mrs Dar was unimpressed.

"When Usman Dar gave his statement, I did not agree to it," says Mrs Dar. "I told him that it would have been better if my son had returned dead.

You have made a false statement."

Mrs Dar's overt style of campaigning, however, is not a possibility for all the PTI's candidates.

Some candidates have kept campaigning despite being in prison; provided they have not been convicted of a crime, they are free to stand for election from behind bars.

Others have avoided the police altogether and are running their campaigns from hiding.

Atif Khan was a provincial minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the north of Pakistan. Now, as part of his campaign, he appears on video broadcasts on three-metre screens his team drives around his patch, parking up in town squares to address PTI supporters.

People at a rally for Atif Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa watch him speak on a big screen on the back of a truck 3 Feb 2024

Atif Khan says he can't attend rallies because he fears arrest and an unfair trial

This is the only way he can take his message to voters, he says, because he has been in hiding since May. The authorities say he is a wanted man.

He believes he wouldn't get a fair trial.

"It's a totally different experience, not amongst the crowds, not on stage, not amongst people, but we are trying to manage it," Mr Khan told the BBC.

"The biggest support base of PTI is the young voter. They are using digital media, mobile phones, that's why we thought we should be more engaged with them through it. That is the only thing we can do, we can campaign through digital media."

Technology has been crucial for the PTI's campaign

The party's official X, Instagram and TikTok pages each have several million followers, more than the other two main parties - the PPP and PML-N - combined. Imran Khan is the only leader of the three parties to have a personal account on each of those three platforms too, which means their message is going direct into people's hands.

Imran Khan's party believes it can win the general election despite its founder sitting in jail

There have also been efforts to use tech to try to help voters know which candidate is PTI-backed. Without the uniting image of the cricket bat, the PTI have developed a website where voters can put in their constituency and discover their PTI-backed candidate's symbol.

Another issue arose when it came to arranging rallies. In Pakistan, politics is tied to personality. Imran Khan - the beloved cricketer-turned-politician - was arguably one of the biggest, able to draw thousands to his rallies.

But he now sits in jail, where he has been since August and looks likely to be for the next 14 years following two three sentences handed down this week.

The party also says it has faced issues organising rallies. In late January, police used tear gas to disperse a crowd of hundreds of PTI supporters in Karachi. The authorities said that they did not have the right permissions to gather.

Police detained supporters of Imran Khan on 30 January after they protested outside Karachi high court

The PTI have said that this is just the latest example of how they have been stopped from campaigning. Every candidate's campaign team the BBC spoke to talked about their supporters being intimidated. The PTI have alleged that there has been a campaign of harassment, abduction, imprisonment and violence against them to stop them from running.

"We find these allegation baseless and absurd," caretaker minister of information Murtaza Solangi told the BBC. "Yes people have been arrested, but those arrests were made because some related to 9 May incidents and some involved other criminal cases.

"However they [the PTI] are free to express their dissent and allegation even if they are baseless. The media carries them. At the same time they have other legal options available, including the highest courts of the land."

The solution to these problems? Virtual rallies.

"It's cheap, it's safe and it's fast," Jibran Ilyas, head of PTI social media, told the BBC by phone from his base in Chicago. "It's a little less impact maybe from the physical rallies, but we were trying to get our message out.

"We've never had a political rally without Imran before," Mr Ilyas said. Would one without him work? They weren't so sure.

The problem is, he says, "people are longing for Imran Khan's message".

So how to get the message out?

There are limitations. According to internet monitoring group Netblocks there was nation scale disruption across different platforms in Pakistan on several occasions that coincided with some of these PTI rallies.

"Only about 30% of Pakistan's population are active social media users. So that suggests that as good as the PTI is at getting the word out on social media there will be inherent limits to their reach with their online campaigning," says Michael Kugelman, director of the South Asia Institute at the Wilson Centre think tank in Washington.

This has, of course, been seen before - notably, during the last election when Nawaz Sharif was behind bars.

"If this all sounds the same, that's because it is; it's just that the players have changed," says Mr Kugelman.

There has been heavy campaigning ahead of the election by other parties, which haven't met the problems the PTI has

He, like most political analysts, sees the hand of Pakistan's powerful military behind this change in fortunes - the same military that many see as being Imran Khan's initial ticket to power.

"The PTI had electoral support in 2018, but they clearly benefitted from electoral engineering influenced if not undertaken directly by the military

"There were extensive levels of repression and manipulation. There were arrests of members of the PML-N party, there were prison sentences that were announced close to the election, including Nawaz Sharif getting a 10 year jail sentence."

That said, Mr Kugelman thinks this is different to recent times.

"I would argue that the playbook is the same, but this time around the intensity is greater. The numbers of leaders and supporters that have been arrested and jailed is higher than recent elections.

"This time family members have been caught up in this. That's not unprecedented but it stands out in what we have seen in more recent elections."

The PTI have tried to use each blow to Imran Khan or to its campaign as fuel, but will that work?

Pakistan's TV channels are full of election rally coverage of Khan's rivals Nawaz Sharif on stage for the PML-N, or Bilawal Bhutto for the PPP. The main coverage the PTI has received in the week running up to the election is about their founder's prison sentences.

Mr Kugelman argues that many voters could feel like there's no point in voting as they feel there is no way the PTI could win.

"The question for the PTI leadership is how to inspire a large support base to come out and vote despite everything that's happening to Khan. There are some in the PTI who think if they do get out there and voter turnout is high enough they could pull off a miracle and win."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-68178513
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Re: Imran Khan's party believes it can win the general elect

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Feb 07, 2024 10:17 pm

Imran Khan wants strong Pakistan

The leader of Tehreek-e-Insaf Gohar Ali Khan confirms to Al Mayadeen that Pakistan's stance on the Palestinian cause has been long clear

    We stand with Palestinians, Imran Khan wants strong Pakistan:
    The head of the Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf party Gohar Ali Khan during an exclusive interview for Al Mayadeen on February 7, 2024 (Al Mayadeen)
Gohar Ali Khan, the head of the Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI or Pakistan Movement for Justice) party previously led by former premier Imran Khan, confirmed that Pakistan and the movement stand with the Palestinian people just as they support all issues concerning the Islamic Ummah and Muslims.

In an interview for Al Mayadeen, Ali Khan said his country's position, in this regard, has been long clear and in line with the Islamic nations' consensus.

The Pakistani party leader pointed out that this was the stance of the former Prime Minister, confirming that Imran Khan did not take any steps to recognize the Israeli occupation entity.

He emphasized that Pakistan and the movement "have no reason to take any action in that direction," adding, "We stand with the Palestinian people, as we stand with the Kashmiri people, in addition to supporting causes related to Muslims, which is a goal of ours."

An appeal for his release

Popular leader Imran Khan was recently sentenced to a combined 31 years in prison in several separate cases; allegedly selling state secrets, being "illegally married" to his wife under Islamic Law, and one related to graft. His wife, Bushra Bibi, was charged in two of the cases alongside her husband, the marriage legality allegations and the graft, and was sentenced to 21 years, which she will serve at home.

Commenting on the verdict and the overall situation in Pakistan, Ali Khan said that "great injustice has been inflicted upon Imran Khan and his family," considering that "the law was unfair to him, as he was sentenced to 10 years [in one case], despite clear violations of judicial procedures."

In this context, Ali Khan explained to Al Mayadeen that the former Prime Minister was "deprived of his right to present evidence and confront witnesses," leading to an "unjust decision in the encrypted message case," referring to the alleged selling of government secrets.

He also emphasized that the verdict on corruption allegations against Imran Khan's wife was issued without any evidence demonstrating her involvement in the case.

On that matter, Ali Khan told Al Mayadeen that the movement will work on appealing the cases to the Pakistani Supreme Court, noting that he expects that the appeal "will not only overturn the judicial ruling against Imran Khan but also lead to his release."

For fair and transparent elections

Despite being deemed "ineligible" for the February elections, Imran Khan retains significant political influence due to his widespread support and anti-establishment stance.

Confirming that the party will move forward with its responsibilities, Ali Khan said the PTI "will remain active in its political fieldwork, while also pursuing judicial and legal actions," urging the party's supporters to "remain calm and peaceful, focusing on electoral campaigns, and coming out in large numbers on the 8th of February to exercise their right to vote."

Moreover, he pointed out that the party is "suffering greatly these days," as most of its leaders "are either hiding or detained, even women who should not be in prison," explaining that their imprisonment aims to discourage them from rejoining or supporting the movement again.

Following Imran Khan's arrest in May 2023, Pakistan witnessed violent protests amid a crackdown against his supporters and party leaders.

Ali Khan noted that the movement "had no freedom to hold gatherings for its supporters and has been prevented from organizing party marches," stating that what can be done now is "to ask our candidate to reach out to our supporters and inform them of our electoral slogan and how to cast their votes."

On relations with other parties and the military in Pakistan, Ali Khan told Al Mayadeen that "this dispute must end, and we must work to make the country progress," warning that "starting a fight among ourselves is the worst thing that can happen."

He also stressed that the upcoming elections are crucial, and "we must move forward," emphasizing that "the best way to do this is to work towards holding fair, transparent, and accountable elections, and to ensure that there are no clashes again."

'Strong and protected Pakistan'

The leader of PTI conveyed a message to the Pakistani people through his exclusive interview for Al Mayadeen, clarifying that "Imran Khan is in prison, but he has not disappeared. His vision and perspective are for all Pakistanis. He wants democracy, the rule of law, and freedom for everyone, as well as a strong and protected Pakistan."

In conclusion, Ali Khan called on the Pakistani people to vote for PTI candidates and "work to choose them in order to enable us to make the necessary reforms for the country, for all citizens."

It is worth noting that the string of allegations against the former premier started to surface when he revealed a confidential document during a rally, presenting it as evidence of threats and asserting a US conspiracy in his ousting.

The document, known as Cipher, has not been publicly disclosed by the government or Khan's lawyers, and it purportedly comprises diplomatic correspondences between the Pakistani Ambassador to Washington and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad.

https://english.almayadeen.net/news/pol ... akistan--p
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Re: Imran Khan's party believes it can win the general elect

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Feb 09, 2024 2:42 pm

Imran Khan allies take lead

Imran Khan, former prime minister of Pakistan and cricketer-turned-politician may be in jail but halfway results of vote counting in Pakistan national elections showed that candidates loyal to his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party have taken lead. PTI has won around 49 seats so far. Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) has so far won 42 and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has bagged 34, as reported by AFP

Imran Khan is currently in jail after being convicted of treason, graft and having an un-Islamic marriage. He is also facing about 200 cases. Khan and his supporters say that cases against him are politically motivated.

Authorities launched sweeping crackdown on PTI in last few months and the party was barred from contesting elections. The party was also barred from holding rallies. As PTI was taken off ballot, the candidates were forced to contest elections as independents.

In Pakistan, independent candidates have to declare their support to party within 72 hours of their victory. This often leads to 'horse-trading' and deal-making.

Watch | Pakistan elections 2024: PTI-backed candidates allege tampering of poll results

As reported by AFP most of PTI loyalists have bagged seats in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region. Results from Pakistani Punjab province weren't fully declared. It is the most populous province and has most political power in the country. The Sharif family has traditionally held sway in Punjab.

"...even if PTI is unable to form a government, the elections show there are limits to political engineering," said Bilal Gilani, executive director of polling group Gallup Pakistan.

"It shows that the military does not always get their way -- that is the silver lining,"

The elections, held on Thursday were hit by violence. As per the tally released by Pakistan's interior ministry, there were 61 attacks across the country, most of them were carried out in regions sharing border with Afghanistan.

There were at least 16 death, which include 10 security personnel. Fifty four people were wounded nationwide.

Elections are 'rigged'

The delay in vote counting is being perceived by some voters as a sign that elections are rigged.

"The delaying tactics speak loudly of the results being rigged and there is no other reason behind the delay," Nisar Ahmed (45) a shop owner told AFP.

In the run-up to the elections, it was expected that PML(N) would bag most seats, but initial results indicate that PML(N) and PPP, both dynastic parties, may have tough work ahead of them.

https://www.wionews.com/south-asia/paki ... int-688680
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Re: Imran Khan's party believes it can win the general elect

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Feb 10, 2024 12:20 pm

Concern over irregularities in poll

The United States, the European Union and Britain on Friday (Feb 9) separately expressed concerns over Pakistan's electoral process in the wake of voting which took place on Thursday (Feb 8) and appealed for an investigation into reported irregularities

The election results still remains indecisive as both, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's party and ex-prime minister Imran Khan declared victory.

The elections were held on 265 national assembly seats, and to gain simple majority to form the government a party has to secure 133 seats.

Till now, of 250 seats officially announced, Independents have 99 seats, PMLN has 71, PPP 53, MQM 17, PMLQ 3, IPP 2, JUI 2, MWM 1, BNP 1 and PMLZ has 1 seat and the results of 15 seats are awaited.

US says 'undue restrictions on freedom of expression" during polls

The US State Department said Pakistan faced "undue restrictions on freedoms of expression" during the polls and also spoke about violence and attacks on media workers.

"We join credible international and local election observers in their assessment that these elections included undue restrictions on freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly. We condemn electoral violence, restrictions on the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including attacks on media workers, and restrictions on access to the Internet and telecommunication services, and are concerned about allegations of interference in the electoral process. Claims of interference or fraud should be fully investigated," said the United States, in a statement.

The EU, in a statement, emphasised a "lack of a level playing field", and attributed it to "the inability of some political actors to contest the elections" and also emphasised restrictions imposed on freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and internet access.

The UN human rights office, earlier this week, denounced violence against candidates and political parties. It also raised concern over the "pattern of harassment, arrests and prolonged detentions of leaders and supporters" of Khan's party.

The United States, European Union and Britain said that they are willing to work with Pakistan's next government and did not congratulate any party or candidate.

In a statement, British Foreign Minister David Cameron noted "serious concerns raised about the fairness and lack of exclusivity of the elections."

Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan has been facing multiple legal cases because of which he was disqualified as a candidate and sentenced to long prison terms.

Pakistan retorts back

Reacting to the statements, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, "We have taken note of statements from certain countries and organizations on the general elections held in Pakistan on 8 February 2024. We are surprised by the negative tone of some of these statements, which neither take into account the complexity of the electoral process, nor acknowledge the free and enthusiastic exercise of the right to vote by tens of millions of Pakistanis."

"These statements ignore the undeniable fact that Pakistan has held general elections, peacefully and successfully, while dealing with serious security threats resulting primarily from foreign-sponsored terrorism. Some statements are not even factual. There was no nationwide internet shutdown. Only mobile services were suspended for the day to avoid terrorist incidents on the polling day. The elections exercise has demonstrated that the concerns of many commentators were misplaced," it added.

"Pakistan held the elections as part of its commitment to building a stable and democratic society. While we value constructive advice from our friends, making negative commentary even before the completion of the electoral process is neither constructive nor objective. Pakistan will continue to work towards building a vibrant democratic polity. Every election and peaceful transition of power brings us closer to that goal. We do this not on account of the concerns expressed by others but because that is the aspiration of our people and the vision of our founding fathers," the ministry stated.

https://www.wionews.com/south-asia/us-e ... obe-688843
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