Wife of jailed ex-Pakistan PM Imran Khan says he’s well

By Asif Shahzad

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The wife of former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan said her husband was well after seeing him on Thursday for the first time since his jailing, his lawyer said.

Kahn was jailed last week after being convicted of corruption. He was then barred from politics for five years, preventing him from contesting an upcoming election.

Lawyer Naeem Panjutha said he and other members of Khan’s legal team were denied access to Kahn despite court orders, saying jail authorities told him that a meeting could only be granted to former first lady Bushra Bibi.

“We just talked to her after she came out after about a 30 minute meeting, who said to let everyone know that he was well,” he said.

He added that Khan’s wife said that he was still being kept in the same smaller, more austere C-class cell.

Khan, 70, has been at the centre of political turmoil since he was ousted last year as prime minister in a no-confidence vote, raising concerns about Pakistan’s stability as it grapples with an economic crisis.

He has been barred from holding any public office for five years since he commenced his three-year prison sentence on Saturday on charges of unlawfully selling state gifts acquired by him and his family during his 2018-2022 tenure.

Khan, who has denied any wrongdoing, was arrested at his Lahore house and is currently in a prison near Islamabad where his legal team and party say living conditions were the worst that a former prime minister has been kept in.

The authorities have said Khan could approach a court for a better prison class which is his right, with facilities like an attached washroom, television, books and newspapers.

The Islamabad High Court has already sought a reply form the authorities on a plea by Khan to be shifted to A-class prison cell in garrison city of Rawalpindi.

(Reporting by Asif Shahzad; Editing by Toby Chopra)