Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been charged with "criminal conspiracy," a crime that carries the maximum penalty of the death sentence, for allegedly masterminding the violent attack on army installations and inciting people to mutiny. A senior Punjab Police official made this announcement on Sepember 20.
The charges against Imran Khan stem from the widespread anti-government protests that swept across Pakistan following his arrest by paramilitary Rangers on May 9, amidst a corruption case. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman, Imran Khan, aged 70, was subsequently released on bail.
During the protests, numerous military installations and government buildings, including the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, were damaged or set ablaze. Additionally, over 100 vehicles belonging to police and other security agencies were set on fire.
Imran Khan, along with hundreds of PTI leaders and supporters, now faces accusations related to the attack on Lahore Corps Commander House and Askari Tower in the city on May 9.
Speaking at a press conference in Lahore, Senior Investigation Officer Anoosh Masood of Lahore police announced that Khan and other PTI leaders and workers have been charged with "criminal conspiracy" for allegedly inciting supporters to attack military and state installations on that fateful day.
Masood further stated, "Besides section 120-B, Khan and others will face nine other offenses, including giving provocation with intent to cause a riot, abetting mutiny, and attempting to wage war against Pakistan. A case file for the charges has been prepared by police investigators and prosecutors and will be submitted to the Anti-Terrorism Court Lahore."
Imran Khan has been incarcerated in Attock Jail in Punjab province since August 5, 2023. Initially, he was arrested in the Toshakhana (gifts) case and subsequently handed a three-year imprisonment sentence. However, he was later granted bail in that case after a higher court suspended the verdict. Nevertheless, he was re-arrested in connection with the cipher case under the Official Secrets Act.
In response, Khan has approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in an attempt to secure post-arrest bail for the cipher case.
The cipher case pertains to a diplomatic document that reportedly went missing from Khan's possession. The PTI party chief alleges that it contained a threat from the United States to remove him from power.
While Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi have been attending hearings in the cipher case, the involvement of PTI leader Asad Umar and former principal secretary Azam Khan will be determined during the course of the ongoing investigation.
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