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Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan gets bail till 1 Sept in terrorism charge

Khan's lawyers contended that the case was an 'act of revenge', and that he was being targeted by the present government for his 'fearless criticism of corrupt politicians'.

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New Delhi: Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Imran Khan Thursday was granted interim bail till 1 September by the Islamabad High Court in a terrorism case registered against him.

Khan’s bail plea contended that the terrorism case against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief was an “act of revenge”. Ever since Imran has been charged, his lawyers maintained that he was a “target of the ruling PDM (Pakistan Democratic Movement) for his fearless criticism, and extremely bold and blunt stance against corruption and corrupt politicians”.

The 69-year-old was booked under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (punishment for acts of terrorism) on 21 August for “terrorising and threatening” a woman additional sessions judge Zeba Chaudhry and senior police officers at a public rally in Islamabad a day earlier. He was accused of breaching the country’s anti-terrorism act for allegedly making these threats against state officials.

Hundreds of Imran’s supporters gathered outside before his arrival in Islamabad’s anti-terrorism court (ATC) where judge Raja Jawwad Abbas ordered him to submit Rs 100,000 as surety against the bail. The court also issued notices to the police and petitioner and his bail now will be reviewed at the hearing on 1 September.

The three-day protective bail given to Imran 23 August in this case was supposed to lapse on Thursday. The end of Khan’s protective bail would have resulted in his arrest, according to Pakistan’s interior minister Rana Sanaullah.

Sanaullah had reportedly written to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s office seeking permission to arrest Khan as he believed that Imran’s speech was a “continuation of a trend to target the army and other institutions.”

Also read: Arrest looms on Imran Khan but help can come from the opposition camp—Asif Ali Zardari


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