The United States, reacting to the charges brought against former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan under anti-terrorism act, has called for peaceful upholding of democratic, constitutional and legal principles.
“We’re, of course, aware of the reports about the charges,” the department Spokesman, Ned Price, said Monday in answer to a question about the case filed against Imran Khan.
“This is a matter for the Pakistani legal and judicial system,” the spokesman said, adding, “It is not directly a matter for the United States, and that’s because we don’t have a position on one political candidate or party versus any other political candidate or party.”
“We support the peaceful upholding of democratic, constitutional, and legal principles in Pakistan and around the world,” Price added.
Imran Khan has been book under anti-terror law for threatening female judicial magistrate and police officials.
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He accused the law enforcement and judicial systems of imprisoning and torturing his close aide, prompting their investigation.
The former leader’s supporters gathered outside his home and vowed to “take over” if he is arrested, raising tensions in the nation.
Mr. Khan has been a vociferous critic of the administration and the army of his country ever since he was forced from office in April.
Police made the accusations after the former cricketer turned politician claimed that his close aide, who is also being held on sedition-related charges, was being tortured by the government.
In a public statement on Saturday, Mr. Khan criticised the head of the Islamabad police department and a female judge over the arrest and alleged maltreatment of Shahbaz Gill, a member of his party.
He addressed the two specifically, saying, “You should also get ready as we will take action against you.”
By reportedly uttering threats against state authorities, Mr. Khan was charged with violating the nation’s anti-terrorism law, according to officials.
Following the announcement of the probe, hundreds of the former prime minister’s supporters gathered in front of his residence in Islamabad and vowed to “take over” the city if police attempted to detain him.
Police who were on the scene claimed that their primary goal was upholding law and order, not apprehending the previous leader.
The lawsuit comes at a time when resentment between the Pakistani government and Mr. Khan, who was removed from office in April following a no-confidence vote, is at an all-time high.
The former leader has since made a round of furious speeches while touring the nation, asking for new elections and harshly denouncing the government and army.
The Pakistani media watchdog declared on Saturday that television networks would not be permitted to broadcast Mr. Khan’s addresses live due to allegations that he had made derogatory remarks about government institutions.
The former leader asserts that the authorities are attempting to silence him. At a different political event on Sunday in the city of Rawalpindi, he criticized the prohibition.
“What crime has Imran Khan committed? I will never accept this gang of thieves,” He addressed his fans.
Later, Mr. Khan said that the government had attempted to prevent people from hearing him in person by limiting access to YouTube halfway through the address.
Imran Khan still has a lot of Pakistani voters behind him despite being removed from power earlier this year in a no-confidence vote.
His PTI party defeated the PML-N party last month in what was thought to be a straightforward victory for them. In doing so, they startled competitors and took control of a significant provincial legislature in Punjab.
Many interpreted Mr. Khan’s victory in the by-election held in July as proof of his sustained support among voters and as a preview of what would occur if the early elections he is calling for were to take place.
The dynamic politician was chosen as prime minister in 2018, but at the conclusion of his term, he had disagreements with Pakistan’s powerful army. He had a majority in parliament until a number of his supporters defected.
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