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Aug 29 – A Pakistani court on Monday dropped a sedition case against former Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to his counsel and a court order, providing some respite for the cricket hero turned politician, who was jailed earlier this month on corruption accusations.
Khan, 70, was charged in March with sedition in the southwestern city of Quetta, the headquarters of Balochistan province, on a complaint alleging that one of his lectures constituted sedition.
Following Khan’s appeal, the Balochistan high court ruled that prosecutors had failed to secure the needed approval from the federal or provincial governments to file the sedition charges.
The charges are “without lawful authority and of no legal effect,” the court decided, ordering the case to be dismissed.
“God be praised,” Khan’s lawyer Naeem Panjutha wrote in a celebratory post on X, the messaging network formerly known as Twitter.
The sedition case was one of many lodged against Khan since he lost office following a parliamentary confidence vote setback in April 2022.
A high court in Islamabad is set to rule on Khan’s plea to suspend his conviction and three-year prison sentence for corruption later on Monday.
Khan lost power after a disagreement with Pakistan’s powerful military, and his attempts to garner popular support have sparked political turbulence in a country already dealing with one of its worst economic crises.
A general election was scheduled for November, but it is now likely to be postponed until at least early next year.
Khan is unable to run for office and has been forbidden from holding political office for five years.