Former Pakistani Prime Minister Khan is suing against the impeachment

ISLAMA BAD — Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday challenged an electoral commission decision barring him from holding public office for five years, his spokesman and lawyer said.

The commission found on Friday that while Prime Minister Khan was illegally selling state gifts and secret assets. The ruling disqualified Khan from holding public office for five years under Pakistani law, and he automatically lost his seat in parliament.

The commission’s decision deepened ongoing political turmoil in the impoverished Islamic country, which has been grappling with a deteriorating economy, food shortages and the aftermath of unprecedented floods this summer that have killed 1,725 ​​people, displaced hundreds of thousands and a rise in malaria and other diseases caused by flooding.

The commission’s announcement came as Khan, who was overthrown by a no-confidence vote in parliament in April, had rally supporters against Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s new government and called for snap elections.

In front of the capital Islamabad, there were brief clashes between demonstrators and the police on Friday. Khan later urged supporters to disperse peacefully and await his call for a march on Islamabad.

Sharif called Khan a “certified thief” in relation to the electoral commission’s decision against him at a news conference in the eastern city of Lahore on Saturday and said the government will not allow his supporters to storm the capital.

Fawad Chaudhry, a spokesman for Khan, said a petition against Khan’s disqualification had been submitted to Islamabad’s high court for an urgent hearing.

Khan’s lawyer, Ali Zafar, said he hoped the court would overturn the electoral commission’s verdict.

The commission’s decision followed a petition by Sharif’s coalition government calling for action against Khan over allegations that he had unlawfully sold state gifts. In Pakistan, heads of government are allowed to buy back gifts, but they are not usually sold. If this is the case, individuals must declare this as income.

Khan, who came to power in 2018, was overthrown by a no-confidence vote in Parliament in April this year, but he claimed, without producing any evidence, that his government was overthrown by Sharif as part of a US plot – alleging that both the prime minister and Washington have also denied.

Also on Saturday, Khan told reporters at his residence in Islamabad that he will announce next Friday when he will start his long march on Islamabad.

Senator Azam Swati sat with Khan, who was released from prison after the court ordered his release on bail. Swati was arrested on October 13 and was allegedly stripped and tortured for tweeting about the country’s army chief.

Swati stressed that the judiciary should take note of torture and parliamentarians and lawyers should speak out against human rights abuses.


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