Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, and his wife Bushra Bibi have been sentenced to 14 years in prison for corruption, for illegally profiting from state gifts received while Khan was in office.
Additionally, Khan has received a separate 10-year sentence for leaking classified state documents, while his party's vice-president, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, has also been sentenced to 10 years in prison in the cipher case under the Official Secrets Act.
These convictions come amidst a crackdown on Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, which has been stripped of its election symbol and forced to contest elections with its candidates running as independents.
Imran Khan's legal woes began with his arrest in August, facing trial in multiple corruption cases, including the Toshakhana case, where he was initially sentenced to three years in prison. Despite PTI's claims of political motivation behind the trials, the courts have proceeded with convictions, barring Khan and Qureshi from contesting elections for the next five years.
The PTI has condemned the trials as a sham, vowing to challenge the verdicts in higher courts, while alleging a conspiracy involving former military officials. In contrast, PML-N leaders have supported the verdicts, arguing that they uphold the law and national security interests.
The legal battles surrounding Khan and his party have intensified political tensions in Pakistan ahead of the general elections, with implications for the country's democratic process and stability.