Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan booked under anti-terrorism law for threatening police, judge
Pakistan’s media regulator has also banned the live telecast of his speeches on television channels.
A first information report was registered against former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan under the Anti-Terrorism act for threatening a female judge and senior police officials, Geo News reported on Sunday.
The FIR was filed at Islamabad’s Margalla Police Station on Saturday on a complaint of magistrate Ali Javed. On Monday, Khan was granted pre-arrest bail by the Islamabad High Court till August 25, ARY News reported. In a plea, Khan submitted that he has no criminal record and was ready to be part of the investigation against him.
Khan had objected to a speech delivered by Khan on Friday at the city’s Fatima Jinnah Park, claiming it was aimed to spread unrest and terror among the public, Dawn reported.
In his speech, Khan had threatened to file cases against Islamabad’s inspector-general, deputy inspector general and Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry over the treatment meted out to his aide Shahbaz Gill.
Gill was arrested last week after he made controversial remarks against the Pakistan Army on television. Apart from sedition, he was charged with a number of offences, including waging war against the state, abetting a mutiny and provoking a riot. Khan claimed that Gill is being tortured in custody.
“They [Pakistan government] are trying to scare us by torturing Gill,” Khan had said at the rally, according to Dawn. “What they did to Gill, they mocked the rule of law and tore it to shreds. Terror is being spread among the people to make them slaves.”
He also urged his supporters and the Pakistan Army to stand with the nation rather than with “the gang of thieves” – a reference to the ruling coalition government of Pakistan.
“When I asked Islamabad police that tell me what did you do [to Gill], I was told that ‘we did nothing, we got a boot from behind [to follow orders]’,” Khan had said in his address, according to Al Jazeera.
Hundreds of the Khan’s supporters gathered outside his home in Islamabad after news of the investigation broke, the BBC reported. They said they will take over the capital city if the police detain Khan.
Police said that they were at the scene not maintain law and order and not arrest Khan.
Khan was ousted from power after losing a no-confidence vote on April 10. He has repeatedly claimed that the vote was part of a “foreign conspiracy” to topple him.
Live telecast of speeches banned
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority on Saturday banned satellite television channels from broadcasting live speeches of former prime minister Imran Khan, hours after he threatened state institutions in his speech in Islamabad, PTI reported.
“It has been observed that Mr Imran Khan in his speeches/statements is continuously alleging state institutions by levelling 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 and is likely to disturb public peace and tranquillity,” it said.
The media regulator said Khan’s speeches were in violation of Article 19 of the Constitution and against the code of conduct for the media, according to PTI.
It, however, added that Khan’s recorded speech would only be permitted to be aired after an effective delay mechanism to ensure monitoring and editorial control.