Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s 10-year jail sentence underneath the Official Secrets and techniques Act is the newest in a sequence of ups and downs for the charismatic cricket star who’s barred from elections subsequent week however looms massive over the nation’s politics.
Khan, 71, has been combating dozens of instances since he was ousted from energy in a parliamentary vote of no confidence in 2022. He was sentenced to 3 years in jail in a corruption case in August, which has dominated him out of the Feb. 8 common elections.
Opinion polls early final yr stated Khan was the South Asian nation’s hottest chief. A quick arrest in Could on separate corruption fees sparked lethal unrest throughout the nation at a time of financial disaster.
He has denied any wrongdoing, telling Reuters in June the army – which has dominated Pakistan for many of its historical past since 1947 – and its intelligence company have been attempting to destroy his political celebration.
The army, which controls a number of the nuclear-armed nation’s largest financial establishments, has stated it’s impartial in the direction of politics.
As soon as criticised as being underneath the thumb of the generals, Khan had a falling out with the then-army chief, Basic Qamar Javed Bajwa, which led to his ouster.
He has stated the military, now underneath Basic Asim Munir, nonetheless targets him and his celebration, fees the military denies.
The violence after his Could arrest might have introduced tensions to a head with the army, as his supporters ransacked military institutions in a number of cities.
Some leaders of Khan’s political celebration stop after the violence. Hundreds of celebration employees additionally stay underneath arrest, the celebration says.
In 2018, the cricket legend who led Pakistan to its solely World Cup win in 1992, rallied the nation behind his imaginative and prescient of a corruption-free, affluent nation revered overseas. However the firebrand nationalist’s fame and charisma weren’t sufficient.
Highway To Energy
Khan rose to energy greater than 20 years after he launched Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the Pakistan Motion for Justice celebration. Regardless of his fame and standing as a hero in cricket-mad Pakistan, PTI languished in Pakistan’s political wilderness, not profitable a seat aside from Khan’s for 17 years.
In 2011, Khan started drawing large crowds of younger Pakistanis disillusioned with endemic corruption, continual electrical energy shortages and crises in training and unemployment.
He drew even larger backing within the ensuing years, with educated Pakistani expatriates leaving their jobs to work for his celebration and pop musicians and actors becoming a member of his marketing campaign.
His objective, Khan instructed supporters in 2018, was to show Pakistan from a rustic with a “small group of rich and a sea of poor” into an “instance for a humane system, a simply system, for the world, of what an Islamic welfare state is”.
He received the election, a sporting hero on the pinnacle of politics. Observers cautioned, nevertheless, that his largest enemy was his rhetoric, having raised supporters’ hopes sky-high.
Playboy To Reformer
Born in 1952, Khan grew up with 4 sisters in an prosperous city Pashtun household in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-biggest metropolis.
After a privileged training, he went on to the College of Oxford, the place he graduated with a level in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
As his cricket profession flourished, he developed a playboy status in London within the late Nineteen Seventies.
In 1995, he married Jemima Goldsmith, daughter of enterprise tycoon James Goldsmith. The couple, who had two sons, divorced in 2004. A second marriage, to TV journalist Reham Nayyar Khan, additionally resulted in divorce.
His third marriage, to Bushra Bibi, a non secular chief whom Khan got here to know throughout his visits to a Thirteenth-century shrine in Pakistan, mirrored his deepening curiosity in Sufism – a type of Islamic follow that emphasises non secular closeness to God.
As soon as in energy, Khan launched into a plan of constructing a welfare state modelled on what he stated was a perfect system courting again to the Islamic world some 14 centuries earlier.
However his anti-corruption drive was closely criticised as a instrument for sidelining political opponents – lots of whom have been imprisoned on fees of graft.
Pakistan’s generals additionally remained highly effective and army officers, retired and serving, have been positioned answerable for greater than a dozen civilian establishments.
Khan was pushed out as premier in April 2022 amid public frustration at excessive inflation, rising deficits and endemic corruption that he had promised to stamp out.
The Supreme Court docket overturned his choice to dissolve parliament, and defections from his ruling coalition meant he misplaced a subsequent no-confidence vote.
With that, Khan turned the newest in an unbroken line of elected Pakistani prime ministers who didn’t serve their full phrases.
(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)