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Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been accused of terrorist threats in the former politician’s attempt to regain political power.
The allegations stem from a speech given by Khan on Saturday. The divisive political figure has vowed to sue the Islamabad police chief and a female judge for reporting mistreating one of Khan’s party colleagues.
“Prepare yourself too, we will also act against you”, Khan would have said in the speech. “You must all be ashamed.”
The political colleague Khan was defending was Shahbaz Gill. Gill was charged with treason after allegedly urging soldiers and officers to refuse to obey the military leadership’s “illegal orders” during a television appearance.
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Treason under Pakistani law carries the death penalty. The channel Gill spoke on, ARY, remains on air in Pakistan after the broadcast.
Khan claims that Gill, who suffers from asthma, was tortured in police custody. Pakistani authorities deny that abuses took place during the detention.
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The arrest comes as Pakistan faces greater division and a political crisis as Khan holds mass rallies in an attempt to get back into office.
Khan served as prime minister from 2018 until April 2022, when he was ousted due to a no-confidence motion in the Pakistani parliament.
Khan’s opposition concluded that his policies exacerbated inflation and plunged the value of the Pakistani rupee. The dismissal even triggered a constitutional crisis that required the intervention of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
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For threatening police officers and a judge, Khan could face several years in prison. Khan himself appeared to be still free on Monday and had not immediately dealt with the police indictment paper filed against him.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.