Former Pakistani Prime Minister Khan Charged With Terrorism

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Khan Charged With Terrorism

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Former Pakistani Prime Minister and Chairman of opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Imran Khan, along with 17 of his aides and several dozen supporters, have been charged with terrorism and other violations of national law by Islamabad police.

The charges came after clashes between law enforcement officers and supporters of the former prime minister who had accompanied Khan's motorcade in Islamabad on March 17.

The former Pakistani prime minister was on his way to a district court in the capital to attend a hearing on the sale of expensive gifts he received while in power from foreign leaders, Sputnik reported.

As a result, more than 50 officers were injured, a police roadblock and several cars and motorcycles were set on fire. Police reported that they detained 59 of Khan's supporters. The hearing itself has been postponed until March 30.

The list of charges included terrorism, obstructing police officers in carrying out their tasks, assaulting law enforcement officers, injuring police officers and endangering their lives.

In addition to Khan, several former ministers and a former speaker of Pakistan's National Assembly (the lower house of parliament) are accused of these offenses.

In his video message, the former prime minister said that his opponents intend to either put him in prison or kill him, and denounced the raid on his home in Lahore as "shameful tactics, conspiracies and plans."

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah accused Khan of "creating all the drama just to avoid" the courts.

Khan was removed as head of the Pakistani government on April 10, 2022, following a vote of no confidence. Shortly before that, Khan claimed that his government had been threatened by the US and the local opposition. The former prime minister also repeatedly said that the political process against him was inspired and financed from abroad. On November 3 last year, as Khan was leading a march in the city of Wazirabad, Punjab province, calling for early elections, he was shot in the leg.

The former prime minister is accused of selling expensive gifts he received from foreign leaders while in power. In October 2022, the Election Commission of Pakistan suspended Khan and barred him from holding government posts for five years because of his improper income reporting as prime minister. The decision came amid suspicions that Khan had embezzled several million Pakistani rupees.

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