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Resolution submitted in Pakistan Senate demanding release of Imran Khan, Qureshi, other leaders

Pakistan’s former PM Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi. File
| Photo Credit: AP

Jailed ex-Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party has submitted a resolution in the Senate calling for the release of the incarcerated leader, his wife Bushra, his close aide, Shah Mahmood Qureshi and other leaders, saying “political vendetta” has destroyed the country’s economy and reputation.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Mr. Khan, 71, and senior party leader and former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, 67, have been lodged at the high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi in various cases.

Submitted by party Senator Falak Naz Chitrali, the resolution calls for the release of the PTI party leaders, alleging that they were convicted under “false cases”, the Dawn newspaper reported.

“Political vendetta has destroyed the country’s economy and reputation,” the resolution read.

It also called for the release of PTI stalwart Dr. Yasmin Rashid, Mr. Khan’s wife Ms. Bushra Bibi and other women leaders of the party, as well as journalists.

The party submitted a similar resolution in the National Assembly on March 5.

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Last month, Mr. Khan and his wife, Ms. Bushra Bibi, were sentenced to seven years imprisonment in an “un-Islamic” marriage or Iddat case.

In January, the PTI founding chairman and his wife were sentenced to 14 years imprisonment each for corruption on charges of illegally selling state gifts.

Earlier, the former-cricketer-turned-politician was also sentenced to 10 years in prison by a special court for leaking sensitive state secrets.

Mr. Khan and Mr. Qureshi were also handed down a jail term of 10 years in the cipher case.

The cipher case pertains to a piece of paper, purported to be a diplomatic cable — the cipher — that Mr. Khan had waved at a public rally on March 27, 2022, and naming the U.S., had claimed that it was ‘evidence’ of an “international conspiracy” to topple his government.

The Federal Investigation Agency filed the case against Mr. Khan and Mr. Qureshi on August 15 last year, which accused both of violating the secrecy laws while handling the cable sent by the Pakistan embassy in Washington in March 2022. Mr. Khan and Mr. Qureshi have also been barred from politics for five years.

Dozens of cases have been registered against Mr. Khan since his government was toppled through a no-trust vote in April 2022.

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