Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday in the cipher case. This decision was pronounced by Special Court Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain during the hearing held in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.
The judge has been hearing the case in Adiala Jail since last year. Apart from Imran, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi was also given the same sentence.
During the hearing, Judge Zulqarnain, before pronouncing the verdict, reminded the PTI leaders that their lawyers were not appearing in the court and that they had been given state lawyers.
The court also observed that questions were given to Qureshi and Imran under Section 342, but Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that if their lawyers were not present, how could they record their statement.
Former cricketer Yasir Hameed has also expressed his reaction to Imran Khan’s sentence.
Imran Khan played 88 Tests and 175 ODIs for Pakistan during his illustrious cricket career. Averages of 37 with the bat and 22 with the ball put him above star all-rounders Ian Botham, Richard Headley and Kapil Dev, who impressed everyone in Test cricket in the 1980s.
During Imran Khan’s last 10 years of international cricket, he excelled in 51 Tests, averaging 50 with the bat and 19 with the ball.
Imran Khan led Pakistan to victory in their first series in England in 1987, but the best moment of his career came when the men in green lifted the 1992 World Cup trophy under his impressive leadership. It is worth noting that Imran Khan stands as a unique figure in Pakistan’s cricket history and is the only ODI captain who led the national team to a World Cup winning campaign in 1992.
It should be noted that Imran Khan has been continuously alleging that the vote of no confidence to remove him from power was conducted at the behest of the United States and the document in question contains evidence of American diplomatic pressure to get rid of him.
The allegation gained further momentum when the American news outlet The Intercept published an article after allegedly gaining access to the classified document. The article states that the US State Department threatened to isolate Pakistan if Imran was not removed, and that “all would be forgiven” if he was indeed removed.