Imran Khan tells President Arif Alvi not to consider presidential pardon

By
Ansar Abbasi
Former prime minister Imran Khan arrives at an Islamabad court for a hearing. — AFP/File
Former prime minister Imran Khan arrives at an Islamabad court for a hearing. — AFP/File
  • PTI founder serving total of 31 years imprisonment in various cases.
  • Article 45 of Constitution empowers president to pardon any convict.
  • Experts divided whether president can pardon sans advice from PM.


ISLAMABAD: Amidst his ongoing legal woes which have resulted in multiple convictions in various cases, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan has opposed the prospect of securing any relief via a presidential pardon by President Arif Alvi, The News reported on Tuesday.

Speaking to the publication, PTI's Information Secretary Raoof Hasan said in light of demands of pardon from various sides including social media, Khan has conveyed to President Alvi not to consider any request from any side for pardon of his convictions.

Highlighting that although the president has the constitutional power to pardon any sentence passed by any court, Hasan stressed that the PTI founder would never accept such a pardon.

Although the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had suspended Khan's sentence in the Toshakhana case last year, the PTI founder was soon convicted in three separate cases including the Toshakhana case — by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), cipher case and un-Islamic nikah case wherein he was handed down 14, 10 and seven years imprisonment, respectively.

However, the incarcerated PTI founder can be absolved from serving his sentence in the said cases as Article 45 of the Constitution empowers the president to pardon any convict, it reads: "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 the Toshakhana case by a district court in Islamabad, senior lawyer Latif Khosa had said that the president at 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 state has the power to pardon, commute, reprieve and respite any convict.

After the surprise win of PTI-supported candidates in the general elections, the party supporters started demanding the president pardon Khan.

It is to be noted that Khan, along with his wife Bushra Bibi who was sentenced with the ex-prime minister in Toshakhana and un-Islamic nikah cases, have already challenged all of the three convictions in the IHC.