MIANWALI: Despite roadblocks on his way to running in the upcoming general elections, disqualified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan had his nomination papers submitted from Mianwali, his home constituency, on Friday.
As per Geo News, Khan had his nomination papers submitted for the National Assembly’s NA-89 constituency. PTI leader Umar Bodla appeared on the former prime minister’s behalf.
The PTI founder, a 70-year-old former international cricket star, has been at the centre of a political crisis since he was ousted in a parliamentary no-confidence vote in April 2022.
The cricketer-turned-politician was sent to jail for three years on August 5 after being found guilty of selling state gifts during his 2018-22 tenure as prime minister — the charges he denies.
Khan is seeking to overturn that conviction, which has barred him from contesting elections for five years, by filing a plea in the Islamabad High Court, but it was rejected, so his party has decided to move the Supreme Court.
In a separate victory for his legal team, they managed to get him bail from the apex court earlier in the day, but that does not mean he is leaving jail any time soon as he was arrested in two more cases during his incarceration.
Khan’s legal team says that the district court, which sent Khan to jail and had him disqualified, gave a baseless judgment.
Pakistan’s general elections will take place on February 8, 2024, with political parties turning up the heat by staging rallies or wooing politicians with a substantial voter base into their ranks.
The top two issues that the incoming government will have to deal with are economic stabilisation and political uncertainty — both of which have been persistent since PTI’s ouster.
It’s still too early to say who might form the government in the centre, but several politicians have hinted that a coalition would rule the country as no one is currently in a position to grab a majority and elect its prime minister.
Despite his disqualification and fallout with the establishment, Khan remains a crucial reason for PTI’s vote bank — as was evident when his party released an AI-generated audio of Khan to boost the supporters’ morale.
But his party might face an uphill task when they head into polls as Khan has stepped down as the PTI chairman and handed over the reins to Barrister Gohar Khan, the man who has been in the party for around a year.