Pakistan court extends Imran Khan’s arrest protection

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A Pakistani court on Thursday extended former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s protection from arrest until September 12, more than a week after police filed terrorism charges against the country’s popular opposition leader.

The latest development is considered another reprieve for Khan, as the court order effectively shields him from arrest over accusations that during his speech at a rally last month he threatened police and a female judge.

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In Pakistan, terrorism charges can be levied against anyone accused of threatening a government official or Pakistan’s military and security institutions.

According to a police report, Khan in his speech had criticized the inspector-general of Islamabad police and another judge, saying “You also get ready for it, we will also take action against you. All of you must be ashamed.”

The government at the time responded by filing terrorism charges against Khan who was ousted through no-confidence in the parliament in April.

Khan was replaced by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif who wants Khan to be tried under the 1997 anti-terrorism law, which granted police wider powers amid sectarian violence in the country.

Khan faces two other cases against him, and in both of the cases, he has been granted bail.

Khan came to power in 2018 and he lost the majority in the parliament in April.

But since then he has alleged that he was ousted under a US plot, a charge Washington denies.

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