South Asia

Pakistan court dismisses murder charges against Imran Khan

Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan. File photo.

A court in Pakistan announced on Monday that it has dropped murder charges against former prime minister Imran Khan, according to his lawyer.

“God be praised,” lawyer Naeem Panjutha stated on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday.

Panjutha clarified that the charges, which were linked to the killing of a lawyer in the southern city of Quetta, had been dismissed by the Balochistan High Court.

Khan had been accused of the murder in June of this year, adding to around 170 other cases he has faced since his ousting from office. He has consistently denied these charges, ranging from corruption to sedition, asserting their political nature.

Earlier this month, Khan was taken into custody in connection with a corruption case and is currently in detention.

In a separate development, a trial court this month found Khan guilty of unlawfully selling state gifts, referred to as the Toshakhana case, and sentenced him to three years in jail. Simultaneously, an appeal was filed by Khan’s lawyers at the Islamabad High Court seeking suspension of this conviction.

Abdul Razzaq Shar, a prominent advocate, was slain by unidentified individuals on three motorcycles on June 6. The attack occurred while he was en route to the Balochistan High Court, local media reported.

The slain lawyer’s son had filed an initial chargesheet, known as a First Information Report, with the police against Khan and others from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

Ataullah Tarar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, claimed at the time that the murder was closely linked to a treason case involving Khan, a case Sharif had been pursuing.

Khan continues to be held in the high-security Attock prison in connection with a corruption case.

Following the court’s verdict in the eastern city of Lahore, Khan’s close aide and adviser, Zulfiqar Ali Bukhari, assured earlier this month that Khan’s political career was “far from over,” despite the growing number of criminal charges.