Monday, February 26, 2024

Pakistan: Imran Khan booked under anti-terrorism act for criticising police, judiciary

Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Imran Khan has been booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act for allegedly threatening police, judiciary and other state institutions at his Islamabad rally a day ago.

The case was registered at the Margalla Police Station of Islamabad on Saturday under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (punishment for acts of terrorism).

Addressing a large crowd in Islamabad on Saturday night, Khan had threatened to file cases against senior police officials after his close aide Shahbaz Gill was arrested on August 9.

He has accused the police of torturing Gill in custody. He maintains that the charges against his former chief of staff were a conspiracy to pit his party against the military.

Khan has protested against Gill’s arrest and the alleged institutional “bias” against his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The FIR reads that Khan in his speech had “terrorised and threatened top police officials and a respected female additional sessions judge” with the aim to stop them from performing their functions and abstain from pursuing any action against any individual related to his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party (PTI).

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s media regulatory body has imposed a ban on live telecast of Imran Khan’s speeches with immediate effect after the former prime minister criticised police and other state institutions in the speech.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) in a statement on Sunday accused Khan of levelling “baseless allegations” and “spreading hate speech” against “state institutions and officers”.

Reacting sharply to the ban imposed on the PTI chairman, his party said the government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has a fascist regime.
“Imported fascists are trying to ban Imran Khan’s speeches on TV. They have lost the battle completely and now using fascism; they will fail! #HelpPakistan by raising our voices against fascists!,” Khan’s party tweeted.

Khan has held a series of rallies across the country attended by tens of thousands of his supporters since he was overthrown as the prime minister in a vote of no confidence in April, blaming the opposition as well as the “establishment”, a euphemism for country’s powerful military.

Khan has alleged that he was removed from power as part of a “foreign conspiracy”, raising fingers of blame on the United States.

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