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UN chief Antonio Guterres ‘aware’ of charges against Imran Khan

Spokesperson calls for ‘impartial’ legal process; US State Dept spokesperson Ned Price says it's a matter of Pakistani legal, judicial system
A combination of file photos of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres (L) and PTI chief Imran Khan (R). Agencies
A combination of file photos of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres (L) and PTI chief Imran Khan (R). Agencies

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres was aware of the charges against former prime minister Imran Khan, Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for the secretary general, told the daily press briefing on Tuesday.

“What I can tell you is that the Secretary‑General is aware of the charges brought against the former PM Imran Khan, and he emphasises the need for a competent, independent and impartial legal process,” he said in response to a query on Pakistan’s situation and charges against the PTI chief.

“The secretary general urges calm, lowering of tensions and respect for the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms,” Dujarric added.

The same question was raised to US State Department Ned Price during the press briefing.

“We’re of course aware of the reports about the charges. This is a matter for the Pakistani legal and judicial system,” Price said.

The State Department spokesperson said that it was not directly a matter for the United States and that’s because they don’t have a position on one political candidate or party versus any other political candidate or party.

“We support the peaceful upholding of democratic, constitutional, and legal principles in Pakistan and around the world.”

Imran booked under terror act

A first information report (FIR) was registered against PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday for apparently threatening Islamabad police officers and a female magistrate, during his speech on Saturday, under Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the anti-terrorism act.

The FIR was registered on the complaint of Magistrate Ali Javed in Islamabad’s Margalla Police Station, stating that Imran’s speech was aimed at “spreading unrest and terror” among the people.

“You [Islamabad IG, DIG and magistrate] all should be ashamed. We won’t spare you. Ms Magistrate Zeba get ready, we will also take action against you. You all should be ashamed that one man… who was subjected to torture for such a thing… you only got a weak person. You only have to torture him,” it had this excerpt from Imran’s speech.

The development had come a day after Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that the government was holding legal consultations on whether to file a separate case against PTI chief Imran for his “provocative speech” on August 20 or nominate him in a previous case, the interior minister said.

“This is all happening in continuation — from a campaign after Lasbela incident when six army officers were martyred 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,” he had said in a presser.

He had revealed that his ministry had prepared a report and it was conferring with the Islamabad advocate general and the law ministry. It would take a couple of days to reach a final decision.

PTI workers had gathered outside Imran Khan’s residence at Bani Gala after the FIR registration, chanting slogans against the government and the police.

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