Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan, Booked Under Anti-terrorism Act, Granted Interim Bail

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Thursday granted interim bail till September 1 to ousted 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 bail to the chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf: party till September 1 against a surety of Rs 100,000. Khan’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.

As there was a possibility of his arrest, Khan’s party had called on supporters to come out on the streets and then head to Islamabad the next day if he is taken into custody. Security was tight 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, 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 Gill on the request of the capital police in a sedition case, that she, too, would face dire consequences.

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