Former Pakistani PM gets extension of protection from arrest

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Imran Khan

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, center, arrives to an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. A Pakistani court on Thursday extended Khan’s protection from arrest until Sept. 12, his lawyer said, a week after police filed terrorism charges against the country’s popular opposition leader. (AP Photo/W.K. Yousafzai)

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

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

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.”

The government responded by filing terrorism charges against Khan, who was ousted through a no-confidence vote in the parliament. 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.

Khan faces two other cases against him and has been granted bail in both.

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