• Islamabad admin denies PTI permission to hold rally, says Section 144 in place
• Court refuses remand, sends Gill to Pims in view of his condition
ISLAMABAD: After a court in the capital declined to hand over his custody to Islamabad police in view of his fragile condition, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Friday alleged that his close aide Shahbaz Gill was “sexually abused” and “tortured both mentally and physically” by investigators during the ongoing probe against him for making “seditious remarks”.
Mr Khan also announced countrywide rallies to express solidarity with his chief of staff, who is incarcerated in a sedition case, vowing to seek justice for the PTI leader currently being treated in the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims). The capital police said they did not inflict torture on Shahbaz Gill so who were the individuals responsible for the torture of Mr Gill, the PTI chief asked.
“There is a general perception in the public at large and in our minds too, as to who could have carried out the gruesome torture. Remember, the public will react. We will leave no stone unturned to find those responsible and bring them to justice,” Mr Khan said in his tweet.
“All the pictures and videos show clearly Gill was tortured both mentally and physically, including sexual abuse – most too gruesome to relate. He was humiliated to break him down. I now have full detailed information,” the former premier tweeted.
Mr Khan urged his party supporters to take to the streets today in the federal capital and all regional headquarters to protest against the detention and alleged torture inflicted on Mr Gill. The PTI chairman urged people to join the rally to show their resolve against the torture.
Rally in Islamabad
Meanwhile, in a video clip shared on the party’s official Twitter account, Fawad Chaudhry said that the PTI “strongly condemned worst kind of torture” on Mr Gill. He added the PTI would hold a rally at Jinnah Avenue from China Chowk to F-9 Park in the federal capital and in all regional headquarters.
Mr Chaudhry said Imran Khan will lead the rally in Islamabad and will address the party workers at the park which will be shown at all regional headquarters through a video link. The PTI leader further claimed that the party has acquired pictures and doctors’ certificates to corroborate their claims and they have been forwarded to the authorities concerned.
Earlier, PTI leaders Babar Awan and Shahzad Wasim also held a joint press conference where they alleged that that Mr Gill was sexually abused and tortured.
However, the Islamabad administration said the PTI will not be allowed to hold a rally in the federal capital and added that Section 144 was in force in the city. The PTI, however, refused to comply with the directives and Fawad Chaudhry said the rally will proceed as planned.
On the other hand, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said in a statement PTI chairman Imran Khan has to get a court order if he wanted to meet Shahbaz Gill in custody. Her statement came after Mr Khan went to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Hospital to meet Gill but he was denied. “He is not a monarch to go anywhere he wants,” she added.
When Judicial Magistrate Raja Farrukh Ali Khan took up a police application seeking Mr Gill’s eight-day physical remand, the PTI legal team opposed any further extension of the remand.
The counsel for Mr Gill argued that the instant case was registered without the prior permission of the federal government.
The defence counsel argued that Gill was “subjected to fierce physical and mental torture” and they placed on record an application for registration of first information report (FIR) against the delinquents and alleged torturers.
The counsel also expressed doubt on the medical board report, saying it deliberately did not place the report regarding the state of the accused lungs before the court.
The report, issued late on Thursday night, said Mr Gill was discharged as he was clinically stable, and advised him some medication.
The judge observed that “under the attending circumstances of the case in hand, I am inclined to hand over the custody of the accused to police for 48 hours today. The accused be sent back to Pims Hospital for thorough investigation regarding asthma and respiratory disease.”
Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2022