Pakistan: Election Commission Bars Khan From Office

Photo: AFP/Getty Images [via NBC News]

The Facts

  • On Friday, Pakistan's elections commission ruled that former Prime Minister Imran Khan is disqualified from holding public office for five years, as he was accused of unlawfully selling state gifts and concealing the profits. The ruling is expected to deepen political unrest.

  • The former PM is said to have misused his premiership between 2018-2022 by buying and selling gifts given to the state during official visits abroad. The gifts, allegedly worth more than 140M rupees ($635K), included watches given by a royal family and allegedly later sold in Dubai.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

Pakistan's Election Commission is demonstrating its overreach with this ruling. This decision is a slap in the face to 220M Khan supporters and the widespread street protests show it. The PTI will not stand for this and is already preparing its legal appeal to challenge the ruling in court. A democratic system in Pakistan without Imran Khan will not happen.

Pro-establishment narrative

Imran Khan and his entire party are fraudsters and the Sharif-led government will continue to show Khan's true face to the people. During his time in office, he did nothing but attack the army and create divisions. Khan's actions have been appalling, and groups protecting him should be tried for treason.

Establishment split



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