Imran Khan’s sentence has been suspended, not terminated, disqualification will remain, legal experts

After the arrest in the Tohsa Khana case, Imran Khan, the Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was granted bail and released from Adiala Jail following a decision by the Islamabad High Court to suspend his sentence. Legal experts, including Asad Rahim, Haider Wahid, Raja Khalid, and Rima Omar, have commented on the matter, asserting that while Imran Khan’s sentence has been temporarily suspended, it hasn’t been completely lifted. His incompetence will continue to prevail until the sentence is formally revoked.

Asad Rahim, a legal expert, explained in an interview that when a sentence is suspended, it doesn’t have an immediate impact on the conviction itself. This implies that the law still considers the person guilty. However, if an appeal is successful, the person’s eligibility is reinstated. Barrister Asad Rahim further pointed out that when a sentence is suspended, it is often mentioned in the decision that if the person is not required in other cases, they should be released. This raises the question of whether the state will consider re-arresting him in other cases that have already been filed.

Haider Wahid, another legal expert, echoed the sentiment that incompetence is only deemed to be temporarily suspended when the sentence is eventually revoked. He stated that while the sentence might be suspended, the incompetence continues, and as a consequence, individuals who were convicted are often released. However, it is observed that they are often re-arrested in connection with other cases.

Their consensus was that the termination of the sentence has distinct implications, and the suspension of the sentence is a separate matter. If the suspension is procedural, then it may seem like the sentence is suspended, but in reality, the incompetence still persists, ensuring that the individual remains disqualified from various legal rights or positions.

In essence, the legal experts emphasize that the suspension of Imran Khan’s sentence doesn’t erase the incompetence attributed to him by the law. It’s a complex legal matter that involves both the suspension of the sentence and the overall continuation of the disqualification. The impact of this decision on his political career and the broader legal landscape in Pakistan remains to be seen.