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Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan.


Khan’s murky political future in Pakistan

Pakistan’s dysfunctional politics took another turn on Tuesday when an appeals court suspended former PM Imran Khan’s sentence and three-year jail term for allegedly selling state gifts during his tenure. However, that same court has not overturned that conviction and will decide on whether to set it aside at a later, unspecified date.

Quick background. Khan, the former cricket sensation turned populist politician, was imprisoned earlier this month on graft charges that he says are politically motivated. He was ousted in a no-confidence vote in April 2022, which set the streets on fire. Indeed, polls show that he remains the most popular leader in the country.

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Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan


Pakistan paves way for dicey elections

Pakistan’s parliament has been officially dissolved, paving the way for fresh elections as the country grapples with deepening economic and political crises. The move, which was expected, comes just days after former PM Imran Khan was convicted of corruption in a trial that he and his supporters say was designed to kill his political career. He has been sentenced to three years.

Khan, a charismatic former cricket star, swept to power on a populist-Islamist platform in 2018 but was ousted in a no-confidence vote last year after clashing with Pakistan’s powerful military. Mass protests followed, some of which turned violent. Khan remains the country’s leading opposition figure.

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Supporters chant slogans as they gather for a protest following the arrest of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan, in Peshawar, Pakistan.

REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

Imran Khan sentenced, Pakistan on edge

Former PM Imran Khan is bunking down in Pakistan’s notorious maximum security Attock prison after being found guilty of corruption. The court, which said he illegally concealed assets after selling state gifts, also banned the 70-year-old former cricket champ from running for office for five years. Khan may also lose the chairmanship of his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

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A supporter of Pakistan's former PM Imran Khan throws stones towards police during a protest against Khan's arrest in Peshawar.

REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

Imran Khan released from prison

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday ordered that former Prime Minister Imran Khan be released from jail. He was set free on Friday and cannot be arrested again for at least two weeks.

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Trump sexual abuse verdict won't hurt him with GOP
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Trump sexual abuse verdict won't hurt him with GOP

Trump was found liable in lawsuit by E. Jean Carroll. Does this hurt his 2024 presidential aspirations? After his Victory Day speech falsely comparing his invasion of Ukraine to the defeat of Nazi Germany, is Putin losing domestic support? How might Imran Khan's arrest affect stability in Pakistan? Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Number one, Trump was found liable in lawsuit by E. Jean Carroll. Does this hurt his 2024 presidential aspirations?

Found liable for sexual abuse and for defamation, not for rape. A civil case, $5 million he's going to have to pay. That is a horrible, horrible state of affairs for the former president of the United States. It's a stain on the country and it should matter, but it won't. It will be seen by his supporters as yet one more witch hunt, and his immediate response was, "I don't even know the woman," which is obviously untrue, but is a feature of his presidency and of his candidacy. Keep in mind, the people that are voting for him for the nomination are largely people that very strongly support him and very strongly oppose Biden. I suspect that if anything, this is going to have a negligible to slightly positive impact on the way he's likely to perform in the Republican primaries, and that is an insane thing to say.

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A boy rides past a paramilitary check post, that was set afire by the supporters of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan


Pakistan’s military pays the price for Imran Khan's arrest

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested in Islamabad on Tuesday as he appeared in court to face corruption charges. The move triggered nationwide protests against the military, the country’s most powerful institution, with clashes killing at least one protester late Tuesday. A judge is expected to rule Wednesday on whether to grant a request by authorities to keep the former PM in detention for the next 14 days.

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Former Pakistani PM Imran Khan, gestures as he speaks with Reuters during an interview in Lahore.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

What We're Watching: Punjab election back on, China-India war of names, Brazil wants peace in Ukraine

Constitutional & political crises in Pakistan

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ordered that Punjab, the country’s most populous state, can hold elections on May 14, deeming a recent government decision to postpone polls in two states as “unconstitutional.”

Quick recap: This comes after Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf Party, led by former PM Imran Khan, filed a petition challenging the government’s decision to delay the polls in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from April to October.

The government had attributed the delay to a shortfall in funds due to economic constraints, but the top court ordered the government to release 20 billion rupees ($70 million) to fund the elections.

You’ll likely remember that Khan – who was ousted last April in a no-confidence vote and now faces corruption and terrorism charges that he says are politically motivated – is at loggerheads with the central government that’s trying to sideline him.

What’s more, this comes just days after the government introduced a bill in parliament trying to limit the power of the Supreme Court, which Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has long accused of “judicial activism.”

While the tussle between the government and the judiciary continues, there is at least one winner here: Khan, whose primary demand since being ousted has been fresh elections, particularly in his home state of Punjab. The last time Punjab held by-polls, PTI won in a landslide.

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A police officer fires a tear gas can as supporters of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan clash with police outside a Federal Judicial Complex in Islamabad.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

Hard Numbers: Khan chaos continues, Ukraine grain deal extended, lifeline for Credit Suisse, violence mars Nigerian vote

61: At least 61 supporters of Imran Khan – Pakistan’s former prime minister who was ousted last April in a no-confidence vote and now faces corruption charges – were arrested on Sunday, when police stormed the former cricket star’s Lahore compound. At the estate, police found iron rods, weapons, and Molotov cocktails that were used in recent clashes with authorities. Khan was supposed to appear in court in Islamabad, but the hearing has been pushed back because of the ongoing violence.

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