By Asif Shahzad
ISLAMABAD - A Pakistani court on Monday quashed a sedition case against former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, his lawyer and a court order said, providing some relief for the cricket hero turned politician who was jailed on corruption charges earlier this month.
Khan, 70, had been charged in March with the sedition case registered in southwestern city of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, on a complaint that alleged that one of his speeches amounted to sedition.
Following an appeal by Khan, the Balochistan High Court said prosecutors had failed to obtain the required consent from the federal or provincial government to lodge the charges of sedition.
The charges are "without lawful authority and are of no legal effect," the court ruled, directing authorities to quash the case.
"God be praised," Khan's lawyer Naeem Panjutha said in a post on X, the messaging platform formerly known as Twitter, celebrating the dismissal of the case.
The sedition case was among dozens of cases brought against Khan since he lost power after being defeated in a parliamentary confidence vote in April, 2022.
Later on Monday, a high court in Islamabad is expected to rule on Khan's appeal to suspend his conviction and three-year jail sentence for corruption.
Khan lost power after falling out with Pakistan's influential military, and his attempts to rally popular support have stirred political turmoil in a country already struggling through one of its worst economic crises.
A general election was expected in November, though it is likely to be delayed until at least early next year.
Khan cannot contest and has been barred from holding political office for five years.