Home Uncategorized Pakistan slams UN body report calling Imran’s arrest ‘arbitrary, politically motivated’

Pakistan slams UN body report calling Imran’s arrest ‘arbitrary, politically motivated’


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday denounced a UN report that termed the detention of former prime minister Imran Khan as “arbitrary and in violation of international law”, asserting that the arrest of the cricketer-turned-politician and the cases against him were an “internal matter” of the country.
Imran, the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, has been in jail since August last year following his conviction in a Toshakhana case.The Election Commission of Pakistan subsequently disqualified him for five years, ahead of the national elections in Feb. He is also facing prosecution in the cipher and Iddat cases.
In an opinion released on Monday, the Geneva-based UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded that Imran’s detention had no legal basis, and appeared to have been intended to disqualify him from running for political office. “…From the outset, that prosecution was not grounded in law and was reportedly instrumentalised for a political purpose,” it stated, adding that Imran’s legal woes were part of a “much larger campaign of repression” against him and his party.
In the run-up to the 2024 general election, the working group report stated, PTI members were arrested and tortured and their rallies were disrupted. It also alleged “widespread fraud on the election day”.
The “appropriate remedy would be to release Mr Khan immediately and accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law”, the UN working group said.
Imran and his party have always maintained that the charges against him are politically motivated and aimed at thwarting his return to power.
In recent months, courts have suspended Imran’s sentence in some cases and also overturned his conviction on charges of leaking state secrets. However, he has remained behind bars following his conviction in the Iddat case, with a trial court ruling that Imran’s 2018 marriage had violated Islamic law. Khan also faces a trial under anti-terrorism charges in connection with the violence in May last year.
Responding to the UN report, Pakistan’s law minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said, “As a sovereign state, the constitution and prevailing laws are enforced by courts in Pakistan. PTI founder has all rights as per the national constitution and law and international norms. He is in jail as a convicted prisoner.”
In his statement, Tarar said court relief to the PTI founder in some of the cases was “a reflection of a transparent and fair trial and judicial system”. “Any demand beyond the constitution, law and international norms will be called discriminatory, biased and unfair,” he added.
Last Friday, Pakistan’s parliament had denounced a US congressional resolution that called for an independent investigation into allegations that the country’s elections were rigged.

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