Pakistan court grants pre-arrest bail to former PM Imran Khan

Islamabad, Aug 22 (EFE).- Pakistan’s High Court of Islamabad granted Monday a three-day pre-arrest bail to former Prime Minister Imran Khan in a case involving terrorism charges, his lawyer said.

“The Islamabad High Court has awarded a three-day protective bail to Imran Khan. We said in the court that he is ready to surrender himself before the law,” Khan’s lawyer Faisal Chaudhry told EFE.

“During these three days he will appear at the Anti-terrorism Court and face the charges against him,” he added.

The government registered a case against Khan on Sunday under the Anti-Terrorism Act, following a speech – telecast live on TV – in which he threatened to register a case against police officials for “torturing” party leader Shahbaz Gill in custody.

Khan had also threatened Judge Zeba Chaudhry for approving the police’s request for a second physical remand despite allegedly knowing that Gill was subjected to “torture” during the first remand.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has issued a notification banning the live telecast of Khan’s speeches.

PEMRA said the former prime minister has been continuously “leveling baseless allegations and spreading hate speech through his provocative statements against state institutions and officers which is prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order.”

Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has said it will challenge the ban in court.

Addressing a huge public rally in Rawalpindi on Sunday, Khan leveled a series of allegations against the “neutrals,” referring to the military establishment.

Khan claimed police officials told him that they received orders from the “top,” or the military, to inflict torture on Gill.

The former prime minister also warned the army saying “do whatever you want to do, I will gather my whole nation.”

PTI supporters converged at Khan’s residence in Bani Gala neighborhood in Islamabad on Sunday night, to confront the police in case they came to arrest him.

Moreover, PTI leaders have warned that arresting Khan would be like crossing a “red line,” and would lead to the entire country coming to a standstill.

Khan has accused the United States of orchestrating his ouster from power through a vote of no-confidence in April, for his Russia visit during the start of its invasion of Ukraine. Washington and the Pakistan opposition have denied the charge.

Lately, he has urged the powerful military establishment in Pakistan to play a role in paving way for fresh elections in the country, as he claims the current government does not enjoy the people’s support. EFE


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