Former Pakistan President Imran Khan has been booked under the Terrorism Act

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been charged under the country’s anti-terrorism law in the latest episode of a tense power struggle with Pakistan’s current government. His expulsion.

Sunday’s action came a day after Khan addressed a rally and criticized top police officers and a judge for his chief of staff’s arrest. Police said in the chargesheet that Khan threatened the officers.

“Imran Khan’s manner of speaking and the threats made by him have created fear and apprehension among the police, judiciary and common people, and it has harmed the peace of the country,” they wrote in the statement.

Since Khan was ousted from power in April, he Held raucous rallies Criticizing the government. The former cricket star maintains his strong political base Gained momentum in local government elections. In contrast, Khan’s successor, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, has made little progress in addressing an economic crisis that has seen skyrocketing consumer prices.

Khan “will have to face the law for threatening and abusing magistrates and police officers. Such brazen acts of thuggery are responsible for inciting extremism in the society,” said Home Minister Rana Sanaullah. Tweeted Monday starts.

Hours after news of the indictment broke, hundreds of Khan’s supporters gathered outside his residence in the capital, Islamabad, in an attempt to prevent his arrest.

“Imran Khan’s arrest is a red line for us. If this line is crossed, it will lead to something bad, not good for the people and the country,” said Murad Saeed, a senior official of the Khan-led Tehreek-e-Insaf party.

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“We want to stay within the bounds of the constitution, but the people are upset, very angry,” he said, warning that popular unrest could “destroy” the sitting government.

Amid heightened political tensions, Pakistan has launched a media crackdown

Saeed and other party leaders have called on thousands more to come to Islamabad to “defend their leader”.

Khan’s chief officer was Shahbaz Gill He was arrested earlier this month After he commented on a talk show that the government was “anti-military”. Khan has alleged that Gill was tortured while in prison, which the government denies.

Khan and his party already A section faced a media blackout. Authorities have banned live broadcasts of his speeches, and the news channel on which Gill aired his comments has been banned. Two news anchors associated with the same channel fled the country after claiming harassment by the government.

Khan was removed from office in April by a no-confidence vote in parliament after repeated delays.

He came to power in 2018, pledging to create a “new Pakistan” – an Islamic welfare state based on opportunity, justice and freedom for the impoverished Muslim-majority nation of 220 million people.

But he struggled to manage the economy amid rising inflation and external debt. He clashed with the country’s military leadership and lost political allies, who slowly gathered enough support to challenge him and accused him of nearly bankrupting Pakistan.

Khan was the first leader since Pakistan’s founding in 1947 to be ousted in a legitimate referendum. The terms of previous prime ministers were cut short by a military coup or other form of extrajudicial intervention.

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Khan said the US supported his ouster. He has not provided evidence for that claim, and the State Department has denied involvement.

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