PAKISTAN: Pakistan’s police have charged the country’s former Prime Minister, Imran Khan, under anti-terrorism laws after an investigation revealed that he had accused the police and judiciary of detaining and torturing his close ally.
The country has been plunged into chaos and tensions as supporters gathered outside his home, vowing to “take over” if capital police arrested him.
The police squad at the scene clarified that they were not there to arrest the former leader but to maintain law and order.
Imran Khan’s live speeches banned in Pakistan
Pakistan’s media has banned broadcasting live speeches of former prime minister Imran Khan with immediate effect. Ever since Imran Khan was ousted from the political arena back in April, he has been a constant and consistent critic of the government and the country’s army.
Police declared the charges after the cricketer-turned-politician accused authorities of torturing his close aide, who was apprehended under sedition charges.
In a public address on Saturday, Imran Khan criticized and lashed out at Islamabad’s police chief and a female judge for the detention and apparent mistreatment of a party colleague, Shahbaz Gill.
He boldly threatened to take countermeasures against the pair for the alleged accusation and said, “You should also get ready as we will take action against you”.
Officials accused Imran Khan of breaching the country’s anti-terrorism laws by making severe threats against law enforcement officials.
The case comes at a crucial moment when Imran Khan, ousted from power in April in a no-confidence vote, has been at loggerheads with the present Pakistan government.
Since his exit, the former leader has been touring the nation, gathering support for legitimizing a fresh batch of elections while fiercely criticizing the government and the army.
On Saturday, Pakistan’s media regulator announced that tv channels would be banned from broadcasting any of Imran Khan’s speeches, as they are nothing short of hate speeches against state institutions.
Condemning this act as state censorship, Khan addressed the issue at another political rally in Rawalpindi. “What crime has Imran Khan committed? I will never accept this gang of thieves”, he told his supporters.
Moreover, Imran Khan also attacked YouTube for blocking access to his speech halfway through the ordeal to prevent people from hearing his speech live.
Despite being ousted from power, Pakistan’s ex-PM continues to wield enormous support over the Pakistani people. His victory in July’s by-elections, where his PTI party defeated the PML-N party and secured a crucial provincial assembly in Punjab, forecasts what would happen in the upcoming elections he is seeking to be held.
The charismatic and eloquent politician was elected prime minister in 2018 but fell out with Pakistan’s powerful army towards the end of his tenure. After a series of defections, he lost his majority in parliament.