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Court Extends Bail For Ex-Pakistani PM Imran Khan In Terrorism Case

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan

A Pakistani court has extended the pre-arrest bail of former Prime Minister Imran Khan for eight days as he awaits indictment on terrorism charges over comments he made about law enforcement and court officials.

Khan appeared in court on September 12 for the brief hearing, where his bail was extended until September 20.

Khan is accused of threatening a female judge who had ruled against one of his close aides on treason charges, putting her life in danger.

In an emotional speech last month at a rally in Islamabad, Khan threatened Judge Zeba Chaudhry for allowing the police to interrogate Shahbaz Gill, the chief of staff of Khan’s Tehrik-e Insaf party.

Gill was arrested in August and charged with treason over remarks during a show on the private ARY TV station, in which he urged soldiers and officers to disobey “illegal” orders from their leaders.

The former prime minister was charged after he vowed to sue police officers and the judge while also alleging that Gill had been tortured after his arrest.

The 69-year-old populist and former cricketer was ousted from office in April when he lost a confidence vote. Since then Khan has held mass rallies across Pakistan criticizing Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif's government and pushing for new elections.

Sharif has rejected the demand, saying the vote should take place as scheduled in 2023.

Khan has acknowledged that he "regrets" disparaging comments about police and judges, though he has stopped short of an outright apology.

Khan and his team appear determined to continue fighting in the courts, though he risks automatic disqualification from politics if convicted.

He also faces related terrorism charges that risk further dividing the beleaguered country.

With reporting by Dawn and Reuters

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