Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan Charged with ‘Criminal Conspiracy
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, has been charged with “criminal conspiracy,” a crime carrying the maximum penalty of the death penalty. These charges allege his involvement in orchestrating an attack on army installations and inciting mutiny among the public, as stated by a senior Punjab Police official.
Imran Khan’s arrest on May 9 in a corruption case triggered widespread anti-government protests across Pakistan. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman was taken into custody by paramilitary Rangers but later released on bail. The ensuing demonstrations resulted in extensive damage to military installations and government buildings, including the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, and the torching of over 100 police and security agency vehicles.
Khan, along with numerous PTI leaders and supporters, is specifically accused of orchestrating attacks on Lahore Corps Commander House and Askari Tower in the city on May 9.
Senior investigation officer Anoosh Masood of Lahore police revealed that Khan and other PTI figures have been charged with “criminal conspiracy” for encouraging their followers to assault military and state installations on that day. Further, the investigation indicated Khan’s role as the “mastermind” behind these attacks and his involvement in inciting violence.
In addition to Section 120-B, Khan and his associates are facing nine other charges, including provocation with intent to cause a riot, abetting mutiny, and attempting to wage war against Pakistan. The police and prosecutors have prepared a case file, which will be submitted to the Anti-Terrorism Court in Lahore.
Imran Khan has been in Attock Jail in Punjab since August 5, 2023. He was initially arrested in the “Toshakhana” (gifts) case, where he received a three-year prison sentence. Subsequently, he was granted bail in that case after a higher court suspended the verdict. However, he was re-arrested in the cypher case under the Official Secrets Act.
The cypher case revolves around a diplomatic document reportedly missing from Khan’s possession, which allegedly contained a threat from the United States aimed at removing him from power. Khan has sought post-arrest bail in the cypher case through the Islamabad High Court. The case’s developments are expected to reveal the involvement of PTI leader Asad Umar and former principal secretary Azam Khan as the investigation unfolds.