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Imran Khan, the former leader of Pakistan, is granted a brief visit by his wife while he is in prison

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Imran Khan, the leader of the opposition and the nation’s cricket star, is being kept in a high-security prison, although his wife was allowed to pay him a quick visit on Thursday, according to his lawyer.

Pakistan is edging closer to new legislative elections at the time of the visit. On Wednesday, the National Assembly, or lower house of parliament, was dissolved. Khan’s successor, current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, is now anticipated to choose a caretaker administration to run the country until the election, which may occur by November.

Sharif’s decision Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, or PTI, is anticipated to provide fierce competition for the Pakistan Muslim League party, though Khan himself won’t be able to run unless his conviction is overturned. No one with a criminal conviction is allowed to lead a party, run for office, or hold public office in Pakistan.

The 70-year-old Khan visited his wife Bushra Bibi for the first time on Thursday during his visit to prison. Over the weekend, an Islamabad court found him guilty of hiding assets from selling gifts he received from the government while he was in office and sentenced him to three years in prison.

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Bibi, a spiritual healer from an extremely orthodox family, is charged separately with colluding with Khan to give a real estate tycoon perks while Khan was in power in exchange for receiving a gift of property.

According to attorney Naeem Haider Panjutha in a video message on X, formerly known as Twitter, the visit lasted slightly over half an hour, a period of time generally given to common criminals. Weekly family visits are typically extended for high-profile convicts.

Khan’s attorney, who is contesting what he claims are harsh prison conditions, claimed that Khan is still being detained in a cramped cell without air conditioning and has been refused access to home-cooked food and visits with his regular doctor.

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Convicted militants are among the prisoners of the notoriously harsh Attock prison in eastern Punjab province.

Khan can watch television, read newspapers, and receive medical attention from a jail doctor, according to the prison department’s announcement on Thursday.

Khan was removed from office in a no-confidence vote in April 2022, but he is still very well liked. Since his expulsion, he has been hit with almost 150 legal proceedings. He has said that these proceedings are part of a plot hatched by Washington, Sharif, and the Pakistani military, all of which have refuted his claims.

Khan was previously detained in May on corruption-related accusations, which led to a wave of violent demonstrations across the nation. Days later, the Pakistani Supreme Court ordered his release, ruling that the arrest was unlawful.

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Separately, a court in the nation’s capital, Islamabad, on Thursday revoked the bail that Khan had been given a week prior in the real estate case in which Bibi is also an accused party.

There is a twist this time, even though new elections must be held within 90 days of the dissolution of parliament. If Pakistan’s election commission decides to redistrict based on the findings of a recent census before an election, a delay until the spring may ensue.

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