In Pakistan, Imran Khan threatened to be excluded from public life

The political clash between former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his successor Shahbaz Sharif is taking a worrying turn towards democracy and freedoms in Pakistan.

The former president, who was ousted from power in April, after a vote on a motion of censure, summoned personally by the Election Commission of Pakistan, on August 23. He will have to respond to charges of violating public life financing rules. La commission a estimé, le 2 août, que son parti, le Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (Mouvement du Pakistan pour la justice, PTI) a été financé par des fonds étrangers, provenant notamment des Etats-Unis, d’Australie et des The United Arab Emirates.

This is an old issue, pending since 2014. “PTI has received donations from 34 foreign nationals and 351 overseas companies. Fundraising and donations from foreign nationals and companies is prohibited and is a violation of Pakistani laws”says the electoral police.

In his defence, Mr. Khan assures us that he obtained diaspora funds, entirely legally, in 2012, not foreign nationals’ money. The former cricket star rose to power in 2018 on a promise to break the decades-old grip of the Bhutto and Sharif dynasty in Pakistan and end endemic corruption that has plagued political life. He turned to the Pakistanis living abroad, who are in his favour.

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Imran Khan risks his political future. His party could be banned, and he could be barred from holding public office. The election watchdog also agreed, on August 16, to consider a request to “exclude” the former prime minister from a public office, submitted by a group of MPs affiliated with the Pakistan Democratic Movement, for not mentioning certain information in their announcement. of assets.

Shut down a TV channel

This legal confrontation comes in the midst of a legitimate war between the former and the new prime minister, and Pakistan is mired in a major economic crisis. Since leaving power, Imran Khan has claimed to be the victim of a conspiracy encouraged by the United States and mobilized public opinion in huge meetings. In a deeply divided country, his ouster has boosted his popularity dramatically and Shahbaz Sharif’s coalition government fears he will win the next general election, scheduled for October 2023. Imran Khan’s party has just won a crucial vote in the most populous Punjab. The territory of the country, and calls for early legislative elections.

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