The ruling is the most recent development in political squabbling that started even before Mr. Khan’s departure in April and is just one of many judicial battles that he and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party are currently engaged in.
After the election commission determined that Imran Khan lied to officials about gifts he received from foreign leaders while in office, he was barred from competing for political office for five years on Friday.
The ruling is the most recent development in political squabbling that started even before Mr. Khan’s removal in April and is just one of many judicial battles that he and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party are currently engaged in.
Following the decision, his supporters attacked vehicles as they departed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) headquarters. One of his attorneys, Gohar Khan, stated that the ECP has determined Imran Khan to have engaged in corrupt activities. “We are going to contest it immediately away in the High Court.”
One of Khan’s security officers was taken into custody by the police after he shot at the ground.
His followers stopped some roads in the eastern city of Lahore, while in Faisalabad, they used burning tyres to halt traffic. The police in Islamabad tweeted that the city’s security was “on high alert.”
The involvement of the commission in this case is due to the requirement that elected officials register all of their assets, a practise that rights monitors criticise as silencing political opposition in Pakistan’s courts.
The dispute revolves around a government division called “Toshakhana,” which during the Mughal Empire refers to the “treasure chambers” used by the princely rulers of the subcontinent to preserve and display gifts showered on them.
All gifts must be disclosed by public authorities, however those worth less than a specific amount may be kept.
The recipient can occasionally purchase more expensive products from Toshakhana at a discount of about 50% of their worth, up from 20% while Mr. Khan was in office. These items must go to Toshakhana, though.
For reasons of national security, Mr. Khan has claimed he did not register some presents; but, in a written submission, he acknowledged purchasing items for close to 22 million rupees ($100,000) and reselling them for more than double that amount.
Mr. Khan’s prohibition, if upheld by the courts, will thwart one of his primary strategies for upsetting the nation’s political system as he pushes for a general election before the one scheduled for October next year.
All PTI legislators have resigned from the National Assembly, the lower chamber of Parliament, prompting a number of by-elections.