ISLAMABAD – In a notable divergence from past practices, former prime minister and leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, Imran Khan, currently held in Attock jail since August 5, has been allowed to communicate with his sons over the phone. This decision was issued by a special court on Thursday.
Khan, presently under judicial custody until September 13 due to a cipher case, has been confined within Attock prison since his arrest on August 5 following his conviction in the Toshakhana case. The conviction, based on graft charges, led to his immediate detention and subsequent transfer to prison.
Remarkably, on August 29, the Islamabad High Court suspended Khan’s sentence related to the Toshakhana case. During his incarceration in Attock jail, a special court had placed him on judicial remand on August 16, which was subsequently extended by an additional 14 days.
Through his legal representatives Umair Niazi and Shiraz Ahmed, the PTI chief filed a petition before Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain, appealing for the opportunity to communicate with his sons, Qasim and Sulaiman, either through telephone or WhatsApp. The court approved his plea, directing Attock Jail officials to facilitate the conversation between Khan and his sons.
It is notable that during Imran Khan’s tenure as prime minister in 2018, his predecessor Nawaz Sharif, a member of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), was denied the chance to communicate with his ailing wife, who was then grappling with cancer while receiving treatment in a London hospital. The former first lady, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, tragically passed away in September 2018 in the UK capital.
This recent divergence in treatment between imprisoned political leaders has led to contrasting reactions from various quarters. Leaders from the PML-N have repeatedly highlighted the disparity, criticizing the PTI government’s actions as “cruel.” This development raises questions about equitable treatment for incarcerated politicians and the evolving dynamics of governance in Pakistan.