An anti-terrorism court in Islamabad on Thursday approved the pre-arrest bail of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and former premier Imran Khan after he appeared before the court in a terrorism case registered against him by the coalition government.

The court ordered the former prime minister to deposit surety bond of Rs100,000 and appear again before the judge on September 1. 

Imran was booked in a terrorism case on Saturday on the complaint of Islamabad Saddar Magistrate Ali Javed for threatening the additional sessions judge of the federal capital, Zeba Chaudhry, and police officials.

The PTI chief had alleged that Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry knew that Gill was tortured, but she did not release him on bail. He threatened that he would take legal action against the judge and the Inspector general of Islamabad police.

Several sentences from Imran’s speech had been made part of the FIR. It said that Imran Khan’s speech in this design and style was aimed at spawning fear and panic among the police authorities, the judiciary and the public.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday constituted a larger bench to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Imran after granting him protective bail till August 25. The court had also directed him to submit surety bonds worth Rs5,000 and approach the anti-terrorism court till August 25 (today).

Crowds gathered outside the court in an expression of “solidarity” with the leader, chanting slogans in his support.

Speaking to media after his bail, Imran said they [coalition government] were afraid of popularity of the PTI, they wanted to technically knock out the largest political party of the country and arrest its head.

He said talked of legal action against the magistrate as she extended physical remand of Shahbaz Gill despite knowing he was tortured, he was booked under terrorism laws. Their actions have ridiculed Pakistan in the world, Imran added.

Earlier, Imran walked through the compound to reach the court room as registrar refused him permission to drive his vehicle in.

In the court, Imran stood up to mark his attendance when the judge asked where he was.

Meanwhile, strict security arrangements were put in place in the surrounding area of the Judicial Commission, with roads closed for traffic on all sides of the compound. Unauthorised persons were not permitted to enter the court premises while media persons were also denied access.

According to security officials, 400 police and FC officials have also been deployed.

The police say that they have been directed not to allow anyone to enter the judicial complex without official orders.

VIOLATION OF SECTION 144 CASE: Meanwhile. additional sessions court granted PTI chairman pre-arrest bail till September 7 in the case of violation of Section 144.

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