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Pak Govt Considering to File Case Against Former PM Imran Khan for Threatening State Institutions: Interior Minister

Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Sunday that the government was mulling to file a case against former prime minister Imran Khan for issuing threats to state institutions and making provocative statements while addressing a rally here. Sanaullah said at a press conference the government was holding legal consultations before launching any case against Khan.

Khan, while addressing a public gathering here on Saturday, threatened to file cases against top police officials, a woman magistrate, Election Commission of Pakistan and political opponents over the treatment meted out to his aide Shahbaz Gill, who was arrested last week on charges of sedition. Sanaullah alleged the speech by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief was a continuation of a trend to target army and other institutions.

This is all happening in continuation from a campaign after Lasbela incident when six army officers were killed followed by Gill’s attempt to incite army ranks to go against their top command and then Imran threatening a woman judge and police officials for performing their duties as per the law, the minister said. Sanaullah said the interior ministry had prepared a report on the latest speech and it was consulting with the advocate general and the law ministry before making a final decision in a couple of days about the case.

His remarks came Pakistan’s electronic media watchdog banned satellite television channels from broadcasting live speeches of ousted prime minister Khan, hours after he threatened state institutions and made provocative statements while addressing the rally. The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) in a communique issued on Saturday said that television channels despite repeated warnings had failed to implement a time-delay mechanism to stop the broadcast of material against state institutions.

“It has been observed that Mr Imran Khan, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, in his speeches/statements is continuously alleging state institutions by levelling baseless allegations and spreading hate speech through his provocative statements against state institutions and officers which is prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order and is likely to disturb public peace and tranquility,” it said. The regulator said Khan’s speeches were in violation of Article 19 of the Constitution and against the code of conduct for the media.

“The competent authority i.e. Chairman PEMRA in view of the above mentioned background and reasons, in exercise of delegated powers of the authority vested in Section 27(a) of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007, hereby prohibits broadcast of live speech of Imran Khan on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect,” it added. PEMRA, however, said Khan’s recorded speech would only be permitted to be aired after an effective delay mechanism to ensure monitoring and editorial control.

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