Deposed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is facing the heat after he was booked under the country’s anti-terror laws. Though a lower court granted him protection from arrest till August 25, there exists uncertainty if the former prime minister would be able to avoid arrest after the court hearing.
Imran Khan was booked for allegedly threatening a judge and two top officials while addressing a rally in Islamabad on August 20. He was rallying in support of his close aide Shahbaz Gill, who was arrested in a sedition case on August 9.
WHAT IS THE TERROR CASE AGAINST IMRAN KHAN?
Imran Khan has been booked under Section 7 of Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act (punishment for acts of terrorism), under which he could be imprisoned for life.
The case was filed against Khan on the basis of his address to his supporters in Islamabad on August 20. In his speech, the ousted prime minister had named the police officials and judge involved in the case against Shahbaz Gill and threatened to file cases against them.
“We will not spare you,” Khan said in the speech. “We will sue you.”
The police officials mentioned by Imran Khan were Islamabad’s inspector general of police and deputy inspector general of police. Subsequently, the FIR filed against Imran Khan stated that the leader “terrorised and threatened top police officials and a respected female additional sessions judge” in his address.
“The purpose of the speech was to spread terror amongst the police and the judiciary and prevent them from doing their duty,” police said in the report, as per Dawn.
CONTEMPT CASE AGAINST IMRAN KHAN
Besides the terror charges, Imran Khan now also faces a contempt of court case for threatening Judge Zeba Chaudhry at his August 20 Islamabad rally.
Judge Zeba Chaudhry had approved Shahbaz Gill’s two-day physical remand at the request of the police. At his rally, Imran Khan accused the judge of a “biased” attitude towards her party and said the judge too should prepare herself for action to be pursued against her, as per Dawn.
On Monday, the Islamabad High Court decided to initiate the contempt proceedings against Imran Khan. The court issued a show-cause notice to the leader and summoned him on August 31.
PAKISTAN GOVT ON IMRAN’S ARREST
So far, top leaders of the Pakistan government have sent mixed signals regarding the arrest of Imran Khan. Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said the current government does not believe in vendetta politics and “everything will happen as per the law”.
“Accountability is a major feature of the government’s agenda but it believes that everything should move ahead as per the law and not by politically vested interests,” Express Tribune quoted Aurangzeb as saying.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that Imran Khan would be arrested once his protective bail expires.
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