ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani judge on Monday ordered police to drop terrorism charges against former prime minister Imran Khan for verbally threatening police officers and a judge at a political rally last month.
The charges follow a speech Khan gave in the capital Islamabad last month in which he pledged to sue the Islamabad city police chief and a judge for allowing police to question Shahbaz Gill, who is chief of staff of Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf political party. .
Khan made the controversial remarks after learning that Gill was allegedly tortured by police after his arrest for inciting troops to mutiny.
Fawad Chaudhry, a leader of Khan’s party, welcomed the court order from Athar Minallah, the chief judge of the Islamabad court.
Khan, a former cricketer-turned-politician who came to power in 2018, is currently out on bail, which protects him from arrest in several cases.
Prior to the latest court order, Khan faced several years in prison under Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, which gave police greater powers amid sectarian violence in the country.
Khan was removed from office in April by a vote of no confidence in parliament. Since then, he has been organizing rallies across the country to pressure Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif into agreeing to hold snap elections. Sharif rejected the request.