IND vs PAK: Aircraft with ‘Release Imran Khan’ banner flies over New York Stadium during T20 World Cup match


With a high-octane India versus Pakistan T20 World Cup 2024 clash taking the spotlight at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York, a banner was seen flying over the ground pleading for the release of Imran Khan, the former Pakistan Prime Minister.

In a video shared on social media, an aircraft was seen carrying a ‘Release Imran Khan’ banner across the stadium after play was stopped due to rain after India openers Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli played out an over from Shaheen Afridi.

This is not the first instance where fans and supporters of Khan have unfurled banners at cricket matches. In the lead-up to the World Cup, a Khan supporter was seen collecting an autograph from Pakistan wicket-keeper Mohammed Rizwan during Pakistan’s T20I series in Ireland on a ‘Release Imran Khan’ poster.

During the 2019 World Cup in England, a similar aircraft was seen during an Australia-England clash in Edgbastion with a banner carrying the ‘World must speak up for Balochistan’ message. ‘Justice for Kashmir’, and ‘India stop genocide & free Kashmir’ messages were also seen in banners and posters during India’s match against Sri Lanka in Headingley during that edition.

Khan, the former Pakistan cricket team captain, has been facing jail term since August 2023 with multiple cases in his name. The 71-year-old was arrested when was found guilty in the Toshakhana corruption case filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Khan was first imprisoned in the Attock Jail and later shifted to the Adiala Jail.

While Khan was facing various terms for four cases, the Islamabad High Court overturned the jail sentence in a case related to the leaking of state secrets earlier this week, according to a Reuters report.

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