Toshakhana conviction of Imran Khan has landed him in jail for 3 years as judges announced the sentence on Saturday. Following the court orders, Imran Khan was arrested by the Pakistani police. Pakistan, it seems have some kind of relation between Prime Ministers and jail. The nation has a history of their rulers being arrested over one or the other case.
The Toshakhana is a division of the Cabinet Division that houses presents that foreign dignitaries and the heads of other states have given to monarchs and officials. The Saudi crown prince gave Mr. Khan a priceless watch, which he purchased and then sold for a profit.
The 70-year-old leader was given permission to purchase the gifts from Toshakhana and to carry out their sales, but he failed to report the money he earned to the Pakistani Election Commission, leading to accusations of concealment, a legal offence. But he is not the first or the even the second Prime Minister to have been arrested, there is complete list of it.
Imran Khan arrested! doesn’t seem so unusual in Pak
Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy, a politician of Bengali descent from what was then East Pakistan and the fifth prime minister, ranks first on the list. In January 1962, he was detained and imprisoned on spurious “anti-state activities” charges. His failure to back military leader General Ayub Khan was his real guilt.
The ninth Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was detained in 1974 on suspicion of planning to kill a rival politician. He received a death sentence and was executed on April 4, 1979.
The female Prime Minister of Pakistan has a place in the list!
Between 1993 and 1996, Benazir Bhutto served as prime minister twice, first from 1988 to 1990. The only female prime minister of the nation was detained numerous times, the first time in 1985 when she was placed under house arrest for 90 days.
She was detained in August 1986 after speaking out against military dictator Ziaul Haq at a demonstration in Karachi. She received a five-year prison term for corruption in April 1999, along with a disqualification and a fine of more than £5,000,000. Due to her self-exile, she managed to dodge arrest.
The list continues…
After General Pervez Musharraf assumed power in 1999, Nawaz Sharif was detained and then sent into exile for ten years. He and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were both given a 10-year prison term in a corruption case in July 2018. He was sentenced to seven years in prison in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption case in December of that same year. In 2019, he left for medical treatment in London and never came back to Pakistan. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was detained in July 2019 in connection with a corruption investigation involving liquefied natural gas (LNG); however he was later released on bail.
Imran Khan is neither the first PM to get jailed, nor will be the last
Imran Khan was again detained on May 9, 2023 in connection with a different corruption investigation. He was eventually freed after the Supreme Court got involved a few days later. On August 5, 2023, he was given a three-year prison term in the Toshakhana case.
Hamid Mir, a well-known journalist and Geo News host, commented on his conviction and detention by saying that he was not the first prime minister to be imprisoned and might not be the last.
“First Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy, then Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, then Benazir Bhutto, then Nawaz Sharif, and now Imran Khan. Prime Ministers and politicians are always punished,” he tweeted. He also said that no prime minister in the history of Pakistan has yet served their full five-year term.