Pakistan’s ex-PM Imran Khan granted bail; to remain in jail

Islamabad: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has granted bail to former Prime Minister Imran Khan and one of his aides in the alleged State secrets leak case. The decision of the apex court comes as a boost for the former PM, who is planning to enter the general elections fray scheduled for February this year. But, Imran Khan will continue to remain in jail as he faces multiple cases which also include one conviction under the Toshakhana case.

The bail in the State secrets case will still work positively for Imran Khan’s campaign as the former PM has alleged that the powerful people behind the cipher case are being protected. “I ordered to initiate an inquiry into the matter when I was the prime minister,” Imran Khan said in a court during the bail hearing.

Pakistan prosecutors claim that former PM Imran Khan and his foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi mishandled a diplomatic cable dispatched by the Pakistani ambassador to the United States. Imran Khan was accused of making some sensitive information public.

The legal proceedings for the purported offense initially transpired within the confines of the prison, and the trial commenced in a confidential manner. However, a legal challenge compelled the court to recommence the proceedings with the presence of observers.

Meanwhile, Khan’s aide Qureshi was detained at Rawalpindi’s Adiala prison for 15 days under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance, days after securing a highly-sought bail in the cipher case. The Section 3 of MPO grants the Pakistan government with powers for preventative detention.

Image courtesy of siasat.com

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