Relief for Imran Khan, former Pak PM granted interim bail in terrorism case


Islamabad: An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Thursday granted interim bail till September 1 to former prime minister Imran Khan in a terrorism case registered against him for threatening police, judiciary and other state institutions during a rally in the capital last week. Judge Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan of the anti-terrorism court here granted the bail to him till September 1 against a surety of Rs 100,000, the Dawn News reported.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief’s bail plea was filed in the court on Thursday prior to his arrival, with the petitioner contending that the terrorism case against him was registered by police as an “act of revenge”.

Security was tightened around the Federal Judicial Complex, where the hearing was held, with police and Frontier Corps personnel deployed at the site. Roads in the complex’s surroundings were also blocked.

Khan’s party, meanwhile, called on supporters to “come out on the streets and then head to Islamabad the next day” if he is taken into custody.

Khan, 69, was booked under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (punishment for acts of terrorism) on Sunday for “threatening” a female judge and senior police officers at a public rally in Islamabad a day earlier.

In his address, Khan had threatened to file cases against top police officials, a woman magistrate, Election Commission of Pakistan and political opponents over the treatment meted out to his aide Shahbaz Gill, who was arrested on charges of sedition.

At the rally, he had warned the judiciary against its “biased” attitude towards his party, saying that it should brace itself for the consequences.

The former prime minister had also warned additional district and sessions judge Zeba Chaudhry, who had approved the two-day physical remand of his aide Shahbaz Gill’s on the request of the capital police in a sedition case, that she, too, would face dire consequences.

The PTI chief had threatened to file cases against Islamabad’s inspector general of police and deputy inspector general of police, saying, “We won’t spare you.”

On Monday, the Islamabad High Court granted him protective bail for three days with the direction to seek bail from the sessions court before the expiry of the three-day period.

The FIR against Khan said that his speech had spread fear and uncertainty among the police, judges and the nation.

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