Imran Khan is a former international cricket star turned politician who became the first prime minister in Pakistan’s history to be ousted in a vote of no confidence.

He was elected in July 2018 promising to fight corruption and fix the economy. But those pledges went unmet and the world’s second largest Muslim country was gripped by financial crisis.

Just under four years after being elected, he was ousted as prime minister by his opponents in parliament. As well as the economy tanking, reports said he had fallen out of favour with the powerful military, a crucial behind-the-scenes player in nuclear-armed Pakistan.

Mr Khan, 70, shows no signs of wanting to leave politics and has spent his time out of power addressing large rallies of supporters angry at his removal from office. He still commands considerable support – tens of thousands took to the streets in cities across Pakistan on the night he was ejected from power.

In November 2022, he was shot and wounded in an attack on a protest rally he was leading in the eastern city of Wazirabad. Aides said it was an attempt on his life, but police did not immediately confirm he had been the target.

The former PM had been leading a march on the capital, Islamabad, to demand snap elections.

The previous month, he’d suffered another setback when the election commission disqualified him from holding public office in a case he described as politically motivated. He’d been accused of incorrectly declaring details of presents from foreign dignitaries and proceeds from their alleged sale.

In May, Mr Khan was arrested on corruption charges, sparking widespread protests that plunged Pakistan deeper into political turmoil at a time when its economy is on life support and food prices are soaring.

The arrest was declared illegal, but in August he was taken into custody again after being found guilty of not declaring money earned from selling gifts he received in office.

He was sentenced to three years in jail, but denies the charges and says he will appeal.

Mr Khan’s conviction has diminished any chance of a resolution between the former PM and the establishment, be it the government or the army.

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