Home Pakistan Imran Khan’s Detention: UN Calls for Release Amid Political Turmoil in Pakistan

Imran Khan’s Detention: UN Calls for Release Amid Political Turmoil in Pakistan

Imran Khan, UN, release, turmoil
FILE PHOTO: Security officers escort Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan, as he appeared in Islamabad High Court REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/File Photo

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has declared former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s detention arbitrary and in violation of international law. They urge Khan’s immediate release and compensation.

This announcement emerges amid Pakistan’s complex political landscape. The UN working group alleges a broader campaign of repression against Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. They claim authorities arrested and tortured PTI members, and disrupted their rallies leading up to the 2024 elections.

Authorities have imprisoned Khan since August 2023 on multiple legal charges. Courts have suspended or overturned some of his convictions, but a ruling on his 2018 marriage keeps him in jail. Khan and his supporters maintain these charges stem from political motivations.

The political drama began when Khan lost power in 2022 after coming to power in 2018. He alleged U.S. and Pakistani military involvement in his removal, which both parties deny. Following his ouster, authorities brought numerous legal cases against him, effectively disqualifying him from the February 2024 elections.

Despite Khan’s absence from the ballot, candidates he backed won the highest number of seats. However, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) formed a coalition government.

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel

The election process itself has drawn scrutiny. The UN working group alleged widespread fraud, while international observers from the U.S., UK, EU, and UN expressed concerns about reported irregularities and violence during the elections.

The UN working group’s opinion adds an international dimension to the controversy surrounding Khan’s detention and Pakistan’s broader political situation. The world watches closely as Pakistan grapples with these challenges.

Moving forward, Pakistani authorities must respond to the UN’s call for Khan’s release. Their response could significantly impact the country’s political landscape. This situation underscores the ongoing tensions and complexities in Pakistan’s political sphere.

With inputs from Reuters