close
Wednesday April 24, 2024

Imran’s no to presidential pardon of his convictions

PTI’s information secretary said that the President has the constitutional power to pardon any sentence passed by any court

By Ansar Abbasi
February 27, 2024
President Arif Alvi (left) and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/Files
President Arif Alvi (left) and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/Files

ISLAMABAD: PTI Founder Chairman Imran Khan had conveyed to the President Dr Arif Alvi not to consider any request from any side for pardon of his convictions, claimed party spokesman Raoof Hasan.

Talking to The News on Monday, the PTI’s information secretary said that the President has the constitutional power to pardon any sentence passed by any court. He said that there were demands, from different sides including the social media, that President Alvi should pardon Khan’s convictions.

Raoof Hasan said that following such demands, Imran Khan sent a message to the President not to do it in any way. Hasan said that the PTI founder chairman would never accept such a pardon. Hasan said that the President has the constitutional power to pardon any convict.

Article 45 of the Constitution deals with the subjects. The Article reads as: “The President shall have power to grant pardon, reprieve and respite, and to remit, suspend or commute any sentence passed by any court, tribunal or other authority.”

Many constitutional experts and legal minds believe that the President only on the advice of the Prime Minister can pardon, remit or suspend any sentence passed; others insist that the President can do it on his own without any advice from the chief executive.

Last year in August, after Imran Khan’s conviction in Toshakhana case by a district court in Islamabad, senior lawyer Sardar Latif Khosa had said that the President on his own discretion or on the advice of the Prime Minister can pardon or remit any sentence under Article 45. He was quoted as saying that there is no bar on the President’s power to grant pardon, adding that all over the world the head of the states has the power to pardon, commute, reprieve and respite any convict.

Although the sentence of Imran Khan in last year’s conviction has been suspended by the Islamabad High Court, just before the Feb 8 general elections Imran Khan was convicted, in a quick succession, in three cases. In the Cipher case, he was convicted along with Shah Mehmood Qureshi and sentenced to ten years in jail.

Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi were later convicted in two cases - NAB’s Toushakhana case and illegal Nikah case. In Toshakhana case the couple was sentenced to 14 years in jail whereas in the illegal Nikah case both got seven years in jail. All these three convictions came within a week shortly before the general elections.

After the surprise win of PTI-supported candidates in a very large number in the general elections, the PTI supporters started demanding the President to pardon the sentences of Imran Khan. Imran Khan and his wife’s legal team have already challenged in the Islamabad High Court all the three convictions.