Court in Pakistan-held Kashmir removes Imran Khan’s protégé

ISLAMABAD (AP) — In a blow to Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan, a top court in the Pakistani-administered section of Kashmir on Tuesday removed his protégé and head of the local government from office. Tanveer Ilas, the territory’s premier was indicted and convicted for insulting judges through public remarks, according to officials and local media.

This development seemed to be a result of Pakistan’s political crisis. Khan, 70, was expelled in a no confidence vote last April and has been campaigning against Shahbaz Sharif. Khan claims his ouster was illegal and has been demanding early elections — which Sharif has rejected.

Ilyas is a business mogul known for his outspoken attacks on judges and bureaucrats. Sharif was also criticized by Ilyas when Sharif visited Kashmir last December.

Khan has supported Ilyas, a Pakistani-ruled region of Kashmir where Khan’s Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf opposition political party holds a simple majority. The Himalayan region of dispute is divided between India and Pakistan, but it is claimed by both countries in its entirety.

Ilyas, who appeared before a Muzaffarabad judge, was sentenced to time in the courtroom and symbolically convicted. This automatically disqualifies him for public office under Pakistani law.

Ilyas has been slamming judges in Pakistan-held Kashmir for weeks. He claimed that the judiciary was overstepping his authority by reversed multiple decisions approved by him and his government. He apologized Tuesday for his comments, but the court rejected him.

Fawad Chhadhry, a senior leader in Khan’s party, condemned the ruling. “This country cannot be run by destroying the judicial system,” Chaudhry tweeted.

It was not clear whether Ilyas would appeal this decision. The court instructed the territory’s election oversight board to prepare for a vote in order to replace Ilyas.

In the next few days, the assembly in Pakistani-run Kashmir will elect the new leader. Khan’s party could face a difficult contest, as Sharif’s supporters claim that they are in a position for the government to be formed.

Two of their three wars in Kashmir have been fought by nuclear-armed neighbours Pakistan and India since 1947 when India gained independence from British colonial rule.

Previous post Walter Presents Inks RTVE Noir Thriller ‘Sequía’ VOD Rights for English-Languages Territories (EXCLUSIVE)
Next post Promised starting pitchers for the Tennessee-Eastern Kentucky Baseball team