Pakistan: Imran Khan was granted interim bail in a terrorism case. PTI Chairman Imran Khan was granted pre-arrest bail Thursday by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in a terrorism case filed against him for threatening senior police officials and a judge in a public rally on September 1.
On August 21, a first information report (FIR) was registered against the former prime minister under the Anti-Terrorism Act for threatening an additional sessions judge and senior police officers of the Islamabad Police at a rally in the federal capital’s F-9 Park on August 20.
Khan appeared in person before the court where ATC judge Raja Jawwad Abbas heard his plea.
Terming the terrorism case against Imran Khan’s “political victimization”, his counsels Babar Awan and Muhammad Ali Bukhari have filed a petition in the ATC seeking their client’s pre-arrest bail.
The lawyers urged the ATC judge to grant Imran Khan pre-arrest bail in the terrorism case. In their petition, they said that the police lodged a terrorism case against Imran Khan as “revenge”.
Opening his arguments, Khan’s counsel Babar Awan raised a question that according to the prosecution, his client threatened IG, DIG Islamabad, and a female judge during his Islamabad address but they are not complainants, adding that a magistrate is a plaintiff as per the FIR.
Awan asked, “Are the words ‘shame on you’ threats?” He maintained that these words are often used in our society.
“In his address, my client had warned that he would file cases against the IG and the DIG,” Awan said, adding that he had warned about taking legal action cases but didn’t threaten to murder.
Imran Khan did not say that he would kill anybody, he argued.
Urging the court to grant Imran Khan interim bail, the lawyer said that it is expected that the police would arrest his client.
Meanwhile, the ATC judge granted Imran Khan interim bail till September 1 against an Rs100,000 surety bond. The court also issued notices to the police and the plaintiff in the case.
It is pertinent to mention here that the PTI had staged a rally in the federal capital to express solidarity with Imran Khan’s chief of staff Shahbaz Gill after claims of torture in police custody. The PTI chairman had said that the additional sessions judge — who sent Gill into physical remand on the police’s request — should brace herself for consequences.
An FIR was registered against him under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act at the Margalla Police Station for threatening the judge and other senior officers of the Islamabad Police during the rally.
A day after the registration of a case against him, Imran Khan secured transit bail till August 25 from the IHC which directed him to approach the relevant forum for pre-arrest bail.
For today’s hearing, strict security arrangements have been made around the Federal Judicial Complex, which is home to Islamabad’s ATC. Security arrangements include the deployment of additional police personnel comprising 400 cops and FC personnel to assist the police.
All the ways leading to the judicial complex were blocked using barbed wires and irrelevant persons have been restricted to enter the vicinity. Moreover, an armored vehicle is also present outside the court.
The reaction of Imran khan
Last Saturday, the PTI chief warned that he would “not spare” Islamabad’s inspector-general, deputy inspector general, and female magistrate, vowing to file cases against them for torturing Gill.
“We will not spare the IG and DIG,” he said while addressing the public gathering at the F-9 park. The former premier called out Additional District and Sessions Judge Chaudhry, who had approved Gill’s two-day physical remand at the request of the capital police, and said she, too, should prepare herself as the case will also be registered against her.