Sep 19, 2022 - World

Pakistan court orders police to drop terrorism charges against Imran Khan

Pakistan's former PM Imran Khan

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan appears before the anti-terrorism court in Islamabad on Sept. 12. Photo: Muhammad Reza/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A Pakistani court on Monday ordered police to drop terrorism charges against former Prime Minister Imran Khan, Reuters reports.

State of play: The charges stemmed from a speech Khan gave last month, in which he allegedly threatened police and judicial officers after one of his aides was denied bail in a sedition case.

  • The Islamabad High Court said Khan’s comments were not punishable under Pakistan’s anti-terrorism law.

What they are saying: “This is actually an order to quash the charges,” Babar Awan, one of Khan's lawyers, told Reuters. "It only proves that these are trumped-up charges, and just a tool for political victimization."

The big picture: Since being ousted from office in April through a no-confidence vote in parliament, Khan has faced several other cases that could derail his political future.

  • The high court is scheduled to indict Khan on Thursday for threatening a judicial officer in a contempt of court case, per Reuters. If convicted, he could be disqualified from politics for at least five years.
  • The Pakistani judiciary is also reviewing foreign funding for Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party that an election commission found unlawful.
  • Khan in recent months has held large rallies across Pakistan, calling for snap elections. Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has so far rejected Khan's demands.

Go deeper: Former leaders have been jailed or charged all over the world

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