Police launched an investigation after Khan vowed “action” against the police chief and a female magistrate during a speech in Islamabad on Saturday, according to police documents seen by CNN.
Khan said, “Listen Director General (Police), we will not let you go, we are going to file a case against you. And madam magistrate you get ready, we will take action against you.” Hundreds of his supporters during a rally organized in support of his former chief of staff Shahbaz Gill, who was arrested earlier this month on sedition charges after he urged soldiers to disobey orders from military leaders.
Khan has alleged that the police tortured Gill in custody, a claim that has gained wide traction among supporters of the former prime minister. Islamabad police on Saturday denied Khan’s allegations, telling CNN that Gill was not tortured.
On Sunday, Islamabad Police tweeted a video of Khan’s speech, saying: “Whoever makes threats or allegations will be dealt with in accordance with the law.”
Khan’s team filed a pre-arrest bail plea in the High Court of Islamabad on Monday, PTI’s media coordinator, Rauf Hassan, told CNN.
“Now if they want to arrest him, they will have to reject the pre-arrest bail. It will now become a legal battle,” Hasan said.
Hundreds of Khan’s supporters gathered outside his house on Saturday night after reports of a police investigation, promising that they would take over the capital if he was taken into custody.
live broadcast ban
As tensions escalated, Pakistan’s Electronic Regulatory Authority (PERA) issued an order late Saturday banning Khan’s speeches from being broadcast live on television, citing “hate speech”.
A statement by Pera said Khan was “making baseless allegations and spreading hate speech through his provocative statements against state institutions,” adding the comments were “likely to disturb public peace and tranquility.”
Channels can broadcast their recorded speeches as per the order.
In a Twitter post on Monday, Khan accused the government of temporarily blocking YouTube during his speech on Saturday. “This is not only a gross violation of freedom of expression, but also negatively affects the digital media industry and the livelihood of many people,” he said.
CNN has contacted YouTube and the Pakistani government for comment.