Pakistan: Court Acquits Imran Khan in State Secrets Leak

Pakistan: Court Acquits Imran Khan in State Secrets Leak
Image copyright: Chip Somodevilla/Staff/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • On Monday, an Islamabad court reversed the 10-year jail sentence of Imran Khan, the former Prime Minister, and his ally, ex-Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, for allegedly disclosing classified government information in the "cipher case."

  • Despite the court victory, Khan will remain in prison as he has been convicted in four cases and faces more than 150 lawsuits since being ousted.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

Sentences have been overturned, and the only thing keeping the 71-year-old former cricket star turned politician and prime minister of Pakistan out of jail is a seven-year prison sentence for breaching Pakistan's marital laws. Clearly, the efforts to prevent Khan from returning to power are politically driven. They've victimized his party and stolen the February national election. The authorities must immediately release Khan and his ally Qureshi.

Pro-establishment narrative

Khan has been mired in controversy and scandals for years, and the mounting evidence is too much to ignore. Khan has used his power to subvert democracy, including his attempt to dissolve parliament to escape the no-confidence vote that ousted him. Now, he's using his platform to bring Pakistan to the brink of civil war. While Khan should be pursued legally for his wrongdoings, the government should be careful not to turn this political crisis into something worse.

Metaculus Prediction

Establishment split



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