Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan is facing the threat of imminent arrest under the Anti-Terrorism Act in the country. Khan is accused of threatening Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhary and senior police officers of Islamabad at a political rally at F-9 Park on August 20 (Saturday).
"Zeba! Be ready, we will take action against you," Imran Khan said while addressing Additional Sessions Judge,Dawn reported. He is alleged to have further threatened Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Islamabad. "IGP and DIG! We will not spare you," Khan said.
Why Khan threatened the judge and police officials: Imran Khan went hammer and tongs against Zeba Chaudhary because she gave the order of two-day custody to one of the arrested Pakisan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leaders Shahbaz Gill. Gill was arrested by the Islamabad Police on August 9 on charges of sedition and inciting the public against the state institutions.
Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had said that Gill was working as per a script prepared in the supervision of Imran Khan. Without naming, he also accused Pakistani private news channel ARY News of being hand-in gloves with Khan in his ulterior motives.
On the other hand, Imran Khan had alleged that Gill was forcefully abducted by unknown persons who came in cars which did not have number plates. In his rally on Saturday (August 20), he had also accused the Islamabad Police of brutally torturing Gill to make a confession.
Imran Khan targets military: At his rally in Rawalpindi on Sunday, Khan accused Pakistan military, whom he calls as "neutrals", of leading a crackdown against his party PTI. He said that as per news from insiders, it is the Pakistani Army that is orchestrating this witch-hunt against him. He questioned if the "neutrals were really neutrals in Pakistan", Dawn reported. Khan's animosity with military started ever since he was ousted from power in April.
Wht are the charges against Imran Khan? The FIR against Khan was registered under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (punishment for acts of Terrorism). Though he has not been arrested yet, there are rumours that he has already been arrested and security has also been beefed up around his residence at Bani Gala.
PTI leaders issue warning: PTI leaders on Monday morning fired-off warning signals saying that their leader's arrest would be a saturation point for them. A Twitter trend was gaining traction in Pakistan saying: "Imran Khan hamari red line hai".
PTI leaders urged their followers to converge at protest sites in large numbers in their respective cities and demonstrate their support for Khan. "If Imran Khan is arrested by the imported government, we will take over Islamabad," Ali Amin Gandapur of PTI said, Dawn reported.
What now? In a late night development on Sunday, after the rally at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi, heavy police force arrived at Khan's residence at Bani Gala following the arrival of large number of his followers. There was a strong possibility that he might be arrested on a non-bailable warrant after the rally.
On Monday morning, Khan filed a pre-arrest bail application in the Islamabad High Court to avoid the arrest in the case. His plea states that he has no criminal record in the past and has never been convicted for any offence.
The next few days will reveal what's in store of the former PM of Pakistan.