Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, aged 70, has been moved to a jail near the capital city of Islamabad after a court extended his custody by an additional two weeks. This move comes in the midst of an ongoing state secrets case linked to his removal from power in 2022.
After spending over three weeks in Attock Jail, situated approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) away, following his conviction in a corruption case last month, Khan was transferred to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi city on Tuesday night. Videos circulating on social media captured the sight of Khan’s supporters lining the roads and showering flower petals as a substantial police convoy escorted him to Rawalpindi.
Despite the Islamabad High Court overturning his conviction in August, Khan continues to be held in custody as authorities probe the alleged leak of a secret diplomatic cable, referred to as the “cipher.” Khan contends that this document provides evidence supporting his claim that the United States played a role in his removal from office, a charge vehemently denied by both U.S. and Pakistani authorities.
Khan’s legal team had petitioned the Islamabad High Court, asserting that he was being denied certain facilities permitted under prison regulations at Attock Jail, one of the largest correctional facilities in Pakistan. Members of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party had voiced concerns about his safety while in Attock Jail.
On Tuesday, the court directed prison authorities to transfer Khan to Adiala Jail and instructed that he be granted improved facilities due to his status as a former prime minister.
Khan’s lawyer, Intazar Hussain Panjutha, conveyed, “He [Khan] has never once complained about the conditions he faced in Attock prison and said his focus is solely on the struggle for real freedom for the people of Pakistan.” Panjutha shared this insight a day after meeting with the opposition leader in jail.
Imran Khan has been advocating for early elections since his removal from power in April of the previous year, a request that has been consistently rejected by the government. Following his conviction in August, the Election Commission declared him ineligible to participate in forthcoming general elections scheduled for January.