ISLAMABAD: In spite of the suspension of three-year sentence in the Toshkhana case, former Prime Minister Imran Khan will stay in jail as he is yet to be granted bail in the Cypher case. The special court overseeing Khan’s trial under the Official Secrets Act has ordered that he be kept in Attock Jail till he appears before the court on August 30.
A division bench comprising Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri suspended Khan’s conviction and jail term on surety bonds worth Rs 100,000.
The order of his release was much-anticipated ahead of the national elections in the coming months. The elections however, are likely to be delayed as the government has announced that the elections could take place only after a new census is completed and new constituency boundaries are drawn.
The Toshakhana case
A trial court had earlier convicted the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief in the case filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for unlawfully selling state gifts acquired during his 2018-2022 tenure and barred him from contesting elections for five years.
Reports reveal that Khan was gifted 58 items by global leaders during his three-and-a-half-year tenure. The total value of these gifts exceeded Rs 140 million. The reports alleged that he kept all of them, often paying only a minimal fee or sometimes even receiving them without making any payment at all.
Khan was also charged with using confidential information sent by Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States for political gain. His deputy and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is already in custody in the same case.
In addition to this, Khan faces dozens of cases including charges of abetment to murder and orchestrating violent protests.
Khan’s electoral future
It is not sure yet whether Khan will be allowed to contest elections.
According to senior lawyer Irfan Qadir “He was disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan after conviction in the Toshakhana case and the disqualification is not affected by mere suspension of sentence,”
Contrary to this, several lawyers in the country believe that the disqualification has also been suspended along with the suspension of the sentence. The Supreme Court will give the final ruling on whether Khan is eligible to contest elections or not.
Reactions to the court order
Khan’s party PTI welcomed the verdict with party Information Secretary Raoof Hasan saying that Khan’s arrest in any other case after the suspension of his sentence in the Toshakhana case would be “ill-intentioned and mala fide”.
Expressing his displeasure over IHC’s ruling, former Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif said, “This moment is a matter of concern for our justice system, If a clear message is received from the higher judiciary, what else should the subordinate court do?” further adding that the sentence was suspended and “not terminated”.
Supreme Court’s hearing on the case
During the hearing of petitions against the case, a three-member Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, pointed out issues in the judgment of the sessions court. The bench observed that the accused person’s right to defend wasn’t properly provided and adjourned the hearings without setting a date as it awaited a ruling from the IHC.
This suspension represents another victory for Khan as it comes just a day after the Balochistan High Court rejected the sedition charges against him as the court ruled that these charges were improperly filed.


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