Pakistani court grants bail to ex-premier Khan in terrorism cases

Islamabad, May 23, (dpa/GNA) – A Pakistani court on Tuesday granted bail to former prime minister Imran Khan until next month amid intensified legal battles.

An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) granted Khan protection from arrest until June 8, Ahmad Janjua, a spokesperson for Khan’s party said.

The former leader was granted bail in eight cases carrying charges of terrorism for inciting his supporters to violence at the federal judicial complex in March.

Khan faces a plethora of cases with charges ranging from corruption to terrorism.

Though the beleaguered leader has been granted bail, there is a possibility that the authorities might arrest him in another case since more than 100 cases are registered against him.

Khan told the court that he put his life at risk every time he stepped out of his house. “I believe there is a threat to my life,” he was quoted as saying by the local media, citing an alleged assassination attempt against him as well as concerns that his opponents had similar plans to kill him.

Unlike in the past, this time Khan’s supporters did not come out as authorities have been cracking down on them for deadly riots and vandalism of military installations following his arrest on May 9.

Former human rights minister Shireen Mazari, who was granted bail on three different accounts, was rearrested the moment she stepped out of jail. Similarly, a number of other politicians are being kept behind bars.

The army has initiated trials of Khan’s supporters involved in attacks on military facilities in the country’s controversial military courts.

On Monday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif told the parliament that people who were involved in attacks on civilian institutions will be tried under the Anti-Terrorism Act in civil courts.