Pakistan’s former leader is sentenced
Imran Khan, Pakistan’s former prime minister, was sentenced to 10 years in prison yesterday. The verdict is widely seen as part of a military campaign to sideline him and his party, and comes about a week before the country’s first national election since Khan was ousted in April 2022.
Analysts say the election will be among the least credible in Pakistan’s 76-year history. The military — long the invisible hand guiding Pakistan’s politics — has meddled in elections before. This time its interference is more visible.
Khan’s popularity — though he has been jailed in several legal cases and barred from contesting the national election — has remained high since his removal from power, which he claims the military orchestrated. The military has denied the accusation. Public anger at the military has grown, even as members of Pakistan’s elite have been arrested after supporting Khan.
Details: Khan was accused of leaking state secrets. The verdict was handed down by a special court, established last year, that analysts say is deferential to the military’s wishes. Khan has called the trial a “fixed match,” and his party has said it would appeal the verdict.