Imran Khan, the deposed prime minister of Pakistan, has been accused of “masterminding” the attack on army sites and encouraging the populace to mutiny, a charge that carries a possible sentence of the death penalty, a senior Punjab Police official said on Wednesday.
Following Khan’s May 9 arrest by the paramilitary Rangers in a corruption case, Pakistan saw widespread anti-government demonstrations on a large scale. Later, 70-year-old Khan was released on bond.
During the riots, several of military facilities and government structures, including the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, were destroyed or set on fire. More than 100 police and other security agency vehicles caught fire.
Khan and hundreds of PTI leaders and workers are accused of attacking Lahore Corps Commander House and Askari Tower in the city on May 9.
Anoosh Masood, a senior investigating officer with the Lahore police, announced at a press conference that Khan and other PTI leaders and employees have been charged with “criminal conspiracy” for encouraging supporters to destroy military and government facilities on May 9.
The PTI chairman was “masterminding” the attacks on military posts and instigating people to violence, according to the police investigation into the events of May 9 in Lahore, she claimed.
Along with violating Section 120-B, Khan and others will also be held accountable for nine more offences, including inciting riots, encouraging mutiny, and attempting to wage war against Pakistan. The police detectives and prosecutors have filed a challan for the case, which will be delivered to the Anti-Terrorism Court Lahore, Masood added.
Since August 5, 2023, Khan has been detained in the Punjab province’s Attock Jail. He was detained in connection with the Toshakhana (gifts) case, and a three-year sentence was subsequently imposed. After the higher court postponed the judgement, he was later given bail in the case. He was detained once more under the Official Secrets Act in the cypher case, nevertheless.
Khan has applied for post-arrest bail in the cypher case before the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
In the cypher case, a diplomatic document that was allegedly in Khan’s possession vanished. The leader of the PTI party claims that it contained a threat from the US to remove him from office.
Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi have been attending hearings in the case, while PTI leader Asad Umar’s and former principal secretary Azam Khan’s involvement are supposed to be determined during the course of the investigation.