Imran’s Toshakhana sentence suspended but custody extended by two weeks in ‘cypher’ case

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has temporarily suspended the three-year sentence of PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case. Despite this, a special court under the Official Secrets Act has directed Attock Jail authorities to keep Imran in “judicial lockup” and present him on August 30 for a case related to the leaking of state secrets.

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s detention has been extended for two weeks in connection with the case involving the disclosure of classified information, as confirmed by his lawyer. The proceedings took place at Attock Jail, where Khan was serving a separate three-year sentence in a corruption case that was suspended a day prior.

Although the Islamabad High Court ordered his release on a surety bond of $328 for the temporarily suspended conviction, he remains in custody due to the ongoing case under Pakistan’s Official Secrets Act. Khan is accused of using the contents of a confidential cable sent by Pakistan’s ambassador to the US for political gain. This case is separate from the one for which he was serving his sentence.

One of Khan’s close aides, former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, has already been arrested in the same case.

Khan alleges that the cable demonstrated his removal from office was influenced by the US, which he claims led Pakistan’s military to overthrow his government due to his visit to Russia shortly before its actions in Ukraine. Both the US and the Pakistani military have denied these allegations.

The 70-year-old former cricketer-turned-politician is facing multiple charges brought against him since his removal from power. These charges include terrorism, incitement to assault state institutions, and abetment to murder.

Imran Khan, the leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has been in prison since August 5 after being found guilty of unlawfully selling state gifts during his time as prime minister from 2018 to 2022. While his conviction has been temporarily suspended, he will face a retrial at a later date. Khan can contest elections only if his conviction is overturned.

Khan has consistently denied the charges against him and has maintained that he did not violate any rules.

“Our application has been accepted, and the sentence has been suspended,” said his lawyer Naeem Panjutha.

In another development, the Balochistan High Court has dismissed a sedition case against Khan. The court stated that prosecutors failed to obtain the necessary consent from federal or provincial authorities to pursue sedition charges.

Imran Khan was removed from power through a parliamentary no-confidence vote last year after falling out of favor with Pakistan’s influential military, which initially supported his rise to power in 2018.

Since his removal, Khan has survived an assassination attempt and his efforts to rally public support have contributed to political unrest in a country already grappling with a severe economic crisis.

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