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Imran Khan, wife sentenced to seven years sentence each in un-Islamic marriage case

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STATE TIMES NEWS

Islamabad: A Pakistani court on Saturday sentenced Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi to seven years in jail and ruled that their marriage in 2018 was un-Islamic and illegal, blighting the ex-prime minister’s chances of returning to power.
This is 71-year-old Khan’s fourth conviction since 2022 adding to the troubles of the beleaguered founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party ahead of the February 8 polls.
Bibi’s first husband, Khawar Maneka, had filed the case, alleging that she violated the Islamic practice of observing the mandatory pause or Iddat between two marriages.
Maneka also accused his ex-wife and Khan of being in an adulterous relationship before marriage, a crime punishable by death by stoning.
Under Muslim family law, women are not allowed to remarry for a few months after their husband dies or they are divorced. The court found that Bibi had remarried before the completion of the stipulated time following her divorce. The verdict was pronounced by Senior Civil Judge Qudratullah, a day after the hearing of the case was conducted inside the Adiala Jail premises at Rawalpindi for 14 hours on Friday. The judge also slapped fines of Rs 5,00,000 each on the couple.
Both Khan and Bushra were present in the courtroom when the verdict was announced.
Earlier this week, Khan was sentenced to 10 years in the cipher (leaking of state secrets) case and 14 years in the Toshakhana corruption case. Bibi was also sentenced in this case for a similar term.
Arrested on August 5 last year, when he was found guilty in the Toshakhana corruption case filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Khan has since been imprisoned – first in the Attock Jail and later shifted to the Adiala Jail.
Khan told court reporters that the case against him was created to “humiliate and disgrace” both him and his 49-year-old spouse, Bushra Bibi.
“This marks the first instance in history where a case related to Iddat has been initiated,” Dawn.com quoted Khan as saying and added that he said, it was also the first time that someone was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment in a Toshakhana corruption case.
Speaking to the media, Bushra said that Maneka, her ex-husband, verbally divorced her in April 2017, and the divorce dated November 2017 that has been presented by him before the court is “fake”.
“[My] iddat period had culminated by January 1, 2018, followed by the official announcement of the marriage in February 2018 with Imran Khan,” the former first lady stressed.
On Friday, the cross-examination of the four prosecution witnesses was completed, while Khan and Bushra submitted a joint statement, answering 13 questions. The court rejected the defence’s request to produce additional witnesses. A plea of acquittal and jurisdictional pleas were also rejected.
The marriage with Khan was solemnised on January 1, 2018, and Bibi reportedly exercised a lot of influence on the former premier during his days in office.
She was supposedly a faith healer and the cricketer-turned-politician used to visit her for spiritual solace before the two developed a liking that ended in their marriage.
Khan is facing more than 100 cases since 2022 when he was ousted from power. He was arrested on August 5 when he was found guilty in the Toshakhana corruption case filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan. Since then he has been imprisoned – first in the Attock Jail and later shifted to the Adiala Jail.
Soon after today’s judgment, PTI top leader Gohar Khan said that Judge Qudratullah had not issued the written judgment, which, “once issued would be challenged in the high court.”
“This is another effort to keep the party out of elections,” he said.
Khan’s party has been robbed of the iconic election symbol of the cricket bat, his and his party colleagues’ nomination papers have been rejected and at least one of his party leaders has been killed in the poll-related violence.
A post on the party’s official handle showed Gohar Khan speaking to the media where he said, “Imran Khan’s message to the nation: If I have to stay here for a thousand years, I will stay, I will not make a deal under any circumstances – The nation should come out on February 8 and pay its dues. No exit from stations.”
The official X handle of PTI also posted an elaborate reaction almost immediately after the verdict was announced.
“The people will take revenge for every injustice done to the brave leader of the nation and every injustice done to him on February 8,” it said.

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