The 70-year-old former international cricket star has faced a series of court cases that he claims are politically motivated since his removal from power in a vote of no confidence last year.
The court found Khan guilty of illegally selling state gifts, resulting in his conviction and subsequent arrest. This development comes after Khan had long warned that he would be arrested to prevent his participation in the upcoming elections.
He has been found guilty of corrupt practices by hiding the benefits he accrued from national exchequer wilfully and intentionally.- Court verdict
He cheated while providing information about gifts he obtained from Toshakhana (the state gift repository) which later proved to be false and inaccurate.- Court verdict
Conviction of a criminal offense in Pakistan typically results in disqualification from contesting elections or holding office.
Khan's imprisonment raises questions about his political future and potential impact on the country's political landscape.
Legal experts suggest that his conviction could eliminate one of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's major rivals in the forthcoming national election expected in November.
Pakistan’s Imran Khan arrested after court convicts him
In a video statement made before his arrest and posted on social media, Khan called for his supporters to protest peacefully against his imprisonment.
Despite images and mentions of Khan being prohibited from broadcast on TV channels, he remains popular among the public. Khan's arrest marks a continuation of the challenges he has faced in his political journey.
Khan's political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has already taken steps to challenge the court decision. The arrest has prompted concerns about the fairness of the trial and the potential political motivations behind it.
Amid the arrest, Khan's deputy and former foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, emphasized the party's commitment to pursuing legal and peaceful avenues to secure Khan's release.
Imran Khan's jailing has significant implications for Pakistan's political and electoral landscape.
As the country navigates through a period of economic and political uncertainty, Khan's arrest adds a new layer of complexity.
The situation also underscores the ongoing power dynamics between political leaders and the military in Pakistan.
Following his detention on Saturday, a video message Khan produced before his arrest was released to his X, previously Twitter, account, in which he called on his fans to protest.
My fellow Pakistanis, they will have arrested me and I’ll be in jail by the time this message reaches you. I have just one request and appeal, that you are not to sit silently at home.- Imran Khan, Former Pakistani Prime Minister
This is a war for justice, for your rights, for your freedom … chains don’t just fall off, they have to be broken. You must continue peaceful protest until you get your rights.- Imran Khan, Former Pakistani Prime Minister