ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has decided to approach courts against a ban imposed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on the live telecast of the speeches of former prime minister and party chairman Imran Khan in light of his remarks against the judiciary and the police during a rally in Islamabad on Saturday.
This was shared by PTI senior central vice president Fawad Chaudhry during a press conference here on Sunday. Imran Khan did not say anything illegal nor did he hurl threats during the F-9 Park rally, claimed Mr Chaudhry as he advised the coalition government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to take on Mr Khan politically instead of resorting to bans.
On Saturday, while addressing a rally in Islamabad to express solidarity with PTI leader Dr Shahbaz Gill facing proceedings in a sedition case, Mr Khan warned the judiciary against its “biased” attitude and warned the judge who sent Mr Gill on physical remand to brace for consequences. Subsequently, a ban was imposed on the live broadcast of Imran Khan’s speeches and a case was also registered against him on Sunday.
Mr Chaudhry said Imran Khan only asked for “legal action” against the individuals who allegedly tortured his chief of staff, Shahbaz Gill, in custody. The PTI leader reiterated his demand for an independent commission to probe torture allegations. He added that the reluctance to constitute the commission raised many questions. The PTI leader also questioned the decision to bar Imran Khan and other PTI leaders from meeting Shahbaz Gill. He claimed that Mr Gill had shared the details of the alleged torture he had “endured for hours” at a police station.
Fawad says PTI chief did not ‘threaten’ anyone, only sought action over Gill’s torture; Gill goes on ‘hunger strike’
Commenting on Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, the former information minister said Mr Sanaullah himself had been tortured in the past but he was still treating the alleged torture of Mr Gill as an ordinary issue.
Speaking about cases against PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Mr Chaudhry claimed that a conspiracy was being hatched to disqualify the former premier in a bid to pave way for the return of PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif to mainstream politics. The democracy in the country, however, now revolved around Imran Khan, he claimed. The first phase of the public movement had begun with a public meeting in Rawalpindi, he said and hoped that the government would not force the PTI to start the second phase before Sept 10.
Gill on ‘hunger strike’
Meanwhile, incarcerated PTI leader Shahbaz Gill, who has been in the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) owing to health reasons, went on a “hunger strike” and refused to cooperate with the medical board constituted to ascertain the alleged torture of the PTI leader.
According to a letter dated Aug 21, the new medical board comprised four members, whereas two more members have been co-opted. The board is headed by Dr Shafaat Khatoon (General Medicine) and other members included Dr Tariq Abdullah, Dr Ziaul Haq and Dr Salman Shafi Kaul.
The co-opted members, Dr Farrukh Kamal and Dr Muhammad Naseer, have been tasked with the medico-legal report.
A doctor at Pims, requesting anonymity, claimed that Mr Gill went on a hunger strike on Saturday evening.
“On Saturday, all of Gill’s tests were normal. Members of the medical board on Sunday went to him to collect samples for the tests again but Gill refused. He was also requested to cooperate for the medico-legal report to determine any torture but he refused,” he said.
Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2022