Politics

Imran Khan Rejects Presidential Pardon, Vows to Fight Legal Battles

Former prime minister and PTI founder Imran Khan has made it clear that he does not want any presidential pardon for his convictions in various cases, and that he will continue to pursue his legal remedies in the courts.

According to PTI’s Information Secretary Raoof Hasan, Imran Khan has conveyed his decision to President Arif Alvi, who has the constitutional power to grant pardon, reprieve and respite, and to remit, suspend or commute any sentence passed by any court, tribunal or other authority under Article 45 of the Constitution.

Hasan said that Imran Khan has rejected the demands of pardon from various quarters, including social media, and that he would never accept such a pardon as it would go against his principles and political stance.

Imran Khan is currently serving a total of 31 years imprisonment in three different cases, namely the Toshakhana case, the cipher case and the un-Islamic nikah case. He was convicted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on charges of corruption, espionage and violating Islamic laws, respectively.

However, Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi, who was also sentenced with him in two of the cases, have challenged their convictions in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), and are awaiting the verdicts. The IHC had earlier suspended Imran Khan’s sentence in the Toshakhana case last year, but it was later reinstated by the Supreme Court.

The legal experts are divided over the issue of presidential pardon, and whether the president can exercise his power without the advice of the prime minister. Some argue that the president can act on his own discretion, while others contend that he has to follow the advice of the prime minister, as per the constitutional scheme.

Last year, after Imran Khan was sentenced in the Toshakhana case by a district court in Islamabad, senior lawyer Latif Khosa had said that the president can pardon or remit any sentence under Article 45, either on his own or on the advice of the prime minister. He had also said that there is no bar on the president’s power to grant pardon, and that it is a common practice in many countries.

The issue of presidential pardon has also gained momentum after the unexpected victory of PTI-supported candidates in the general elections, which has raised the hopes of Imran Khan’s supporters and followers. Many of them have urged the president to pardon Imran Khan and release him from jail.

However, Imran Khan has apparently turned down the offer of pardon, and has expressed his confidence in the judicial system. He has also maintained his innocence and claimed that he is a victim of political victimization and vendetta. He has also accused the military establishment and the opposition parties of conspiring against him and his party.

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