Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan and wife Bushra Bibi jailed for illegal marriage

Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan and wife Bushra Bibi jailed for illegal marriage By Fathimath Nasli - February 04, 2024
Pakistan ex PM Imran Khan and wife Bushra Bibi jailed for illegal marriage

Pakistan ex PM Imran Khan and wife Bushra Bibi

The decision is issued just under a week before the national elections and comes after another case in which the couple received a 14-year sentence.

A court in Pakistan has sentenced former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi to seven years in prison, asserting that their marriage in 2018 violated Islamic law. 

The verdict, delivered in the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, where Khan is currently incarcerated, was accompanied by a fine of one million rupees ($3,560). The case was initiated by Bibi's former husband, Khawar Maneka, who claimed that she did not adhere to the required three-month break mandated by Islamic law before remarrying Khan.

This marks the third conviction for Khan and the second for his wife in the same week, just ahead of the general elections. Earlier in the week, Khan and his aide Shah Mehmood Qureshi were sentenced to 10 years for leaking a confidential cable, and subsequently, Khan and Bibi were handed a 14-year imprisonment and a fine of 1.5 billion rupees ($5.3 million) in a case related to the illegal sale of gifts received during Khan's prime ministership. Bibi is currently under arrest at Khan's residence in Islamabad.

Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari, an official from Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, expressed to Al Jazeera that the swift delivery of judgments against Khan raises concerns about the fairness of the legal proceedings and puts into question the integrity of the February 8 elections.

He described the handling of the trials as making a "mockery of the law" and emphasized the significance of this case for Pakistan's higher judiciary.

Bukhari characterized the marriage case as "fake" and criticized the judiciary for taking it up. He suggested that the outcome can be seen as a victory for Imran Khan, indicating that the charges against him are baseless, leading to such absurd cases and sentences.

Bukhari also pointed out that while other countries focus on economic progress, Pakistan seems to be operating at a different level.

PTI President Gohar Ali Khan expressed his view that the trial concerning marriage laws was "shameful," and the verdict was anticipated. He stated that the party intends to appeal the sentencing in a higher court. 

The string of convictions has cast a shadow on the upcoming elections, with Khan barred from contesting, and the PTI facing a crackdown and restrictions, including the inability to use its election symbol.

Despite these challenges, most surveys continue to indicate that Imran Khan remains the country's most popular leader.

Source: Al Jazeera

By Fathimath Nasli - February 04, 2024

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