Imran Khan: Former Pakistani PM is under police investigation under anti-terrorism law

According to police documents seen by CNN, police launched an investigation after Khan promised to “take action” against the police chief and a female judge during a speech in Islamabad on Saturday.

“Listen, director, inspector general (of the police), we will not let you go, we will file a case against you. And Madam Judge, you must also be ready, we will take action against you,” Khan said. hundreds of his supporters during a rally held in support of his former chief of staff, Shahbaz Gill, who was arrested earlier this month on charges of sedition after urging soldiers to disobey orders from military leaders.

Khan claimed that the police tortured Gill while in custody, and these allegations were widely circulated among the former prime minister’s supporters. Islamabad police denied Khan’s allegations, telling CNN on Saturday that Gill was not tortured.

On Sunday, the Islamabad police tweeted a video of Khan’s speech saying: “Anyone who threatens or accuses will be punished according to the law.”

Khan was not arrested and did not publicly comment on the investigation. His Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party said the investigation was based on “baseless allegations with no legal basis”.

Khan’s team on Monday filed for bail pending arrest in the Islamabad High Court, PTI media coordinator Raouf Hassan told CNN.

“Now if they have to arrest him, they will have to cancel bail before arrest. Now it will become a legal battle,” Hasan said.

Hundreds of Khan’s supporters gathered outside his home on Saturday evening following reports of a police investigation, promising to “seize” the capital if he was apprehended.

“Imran Khan is our red line.” said senior PTI politician and former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday. “Every child and adult in Pakistan will heed Khan’s call, and (Prime Minister) Shahbaz Sharif will bear the consequences.”

Live broadcast ban

As tensions escalated, the Pakistan Electronic Regulation Authority (PERA) issued an order late on Saturday night banning Khan’s speeches from being broadcast live on television, citing “hate speech”.

Khan has “made unsubstantiated accusations and spread hate speech through his provocative statements against government institutions,” PERA said in a statement, adding that the comments “could disrupt public peace and tranquility.”

Channels may broadcast his recordings of speeches in accordance with the order.

In a tweet on Monday, Khan accused the government of temporarily blocking YouTube during his speech on Saturday. “This is not only a flagrant violation of free speech, but also negatively affects the digital media industry and the livelihoods of many people,” he said.

CNN has reached out to YouTube and the Pakistani government for comment.

Tensions between Khan and Sharif’s government escalated after the cricketer-turned-populist leader was abruptly ousted in a parliamentary vote of no confidence on 10 April.
Khan said there was a US-led conspiracy against him, accusing Sharif and the Pakistani military of working with Washington to overthrow his government. The US, Sharif and the Pakistani military denied the allegations.
But Khan’s remarks resonated with a younger population in a country where anti-American sentiment is commonplace and anger at the establishment is fueled by a growing cost-of-living crisis. Khan’s continued popularity has led to his party’s recent victories in provincial elections, and he has repeatedly called for a new parliamentary vote at mass rallies since his ouster.

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