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Court orders charges against ex Pakistani PM Khan dropped

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ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani judge Monday ordered police to drop terrorism charges against former prime minister Imran Khan for verbally threatening police officers and a female judge at a political rally last month.

The charges followed a speech Khan gave in the capital Islamabad last month in which he vowed to sue the city of Islamabad police chief and a judge for allowing police to question Shahbaz Gill, who is chief of staff at Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf political party.

Khan made the controversial remarks after being told that Gill had been allegedly tortured by police following his arrest on charges of inciting troops to mutiny.

Fawad Chaudhry, a leader at Khan’s party, hailed the court order by Athar Minallah, the chief justice at the court in Islamabad.

Khan, a former cricket star turned politician who came to power in 2018, is currently on bail, which shields him from arrest in several cases.

Before the latest court order, Khan faced several years in prison under Pakistan’s 1997 anti-terrorism law, which granted police wider powers amid sectarian violence in the country.

Khan was removed from power in April through a no-confidence vote in parliament. Since then, he has been holding rallies across the country to pressure Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to agree to snap elections. Sharif has rejected the demand.

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