- Case has been registered against PTI leader at the Kohsar Police Station, Islamabad
- PTI chairman Imran Khan says this is an abduction not an arrest
Former special assistant to the prime minister for political communication Dr Shahbaz Gill was arrested by Islamabad Police outside Banigala Chowk for "making statements against state institutions and inciting the people to rebellion", reported Aaj News on Tuesday.
A case was registered against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader at the Kohsar Police Station, Islamabad. Besides other charges, clauses relating to inciting people against the state institutions and their heads were added in the FIR, it was reported.
Addressing a press conference later in the day, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said Gill was arrested on charges of sedition and inciting the public against state institutions.
“First of all, a smear campaign was launched against the martyrs of Lasbela incident,” he said. “Then a narrative was created against institutions of Pakistan and Shahbaz Gill and Fawad Chaudhry were tasked to spread it through a TV channel.”
He highlighted that the two party members called upon specific ranks of institution and urged them to violate orders and trigger infighting.
In response, the government prepared a state level case and registered it in the Kohsar Police Station, he said.
“The arrest was made in accordance with law and we will present the culprit in the court,” he said. “Moreover, a fair and transparent investigation will be carried out.”
Taking to Twitter, PTI Chairman Imran Khan said "this is an abduction not an arrest. Can such shameful acts take place in any democracy?"
"Political workers treated as enemies. And all to make us accept a foreign backed government of crooks."
PTI leaders Murad Saeed and Fawad Chaudhry said Gill was "abducted outside Banigala by people who came in cars without number plates".
They added that windows of Gill’s car were smashed and the people accompanying him were also targeted in the incident.
Reports indicate the former SAPM also sustained an injury during the alleged abduction.
“Shahbaz Gill was arrested. The imported government is in a frenzy,” tweeted Murad Saeed earlier.
“How many people will you arrest? The windows of Shahbaz Gill's car were also broken. There was a terrible plan last night but Imran Khan's followers sent a clear message, Imran Khan is a red line.”
He added that “those who were part of the American conspiracy, those who traded for the sovereignty of the country, you have lost, the people have rejected you. Every move you make is exposing you more.”
Meanwhile, Fawad tweeted that Gill was abducted from Banigala Chowk by people who came in vehicles without number plates.
Later, the former information minister also said on Twitter that the Gill's whereabouts are not yet known, nor are details of the FIR being conveyed.
Former minister of state for information and broadcasting Farrukh Habib wrote in a tweet “we condemn the arrest of Shahbaz Gill by the fascist government. We cannot be intimidated and suppressed by such high tactics.”
He further called for immediate release of the PTI leader.
Former minister of human rights Shireen Mazari said that the “civilian dictatorship imported government has arrested or abducted Shahbaz Gill from Bani Gala chowk.”
“It is clear a critical word and no arrest warrant you will be taken away! This is the grand design of US regime change conspiracy and its abettors,” she said.
Former minister of interior Sheikh Rashid condemned the arrest of Gill and said that “abduction without registration of case and through numberplate-less vehicles, will spread more unrest in politics.”
Details on the incident are still pouring in slowly because cellular services in Islamabad and Rawalpindi have been suspended due to Muharram processions that are ongoing all over the country including in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Meanwhile, Fawad also later cautioned the concerned authorities against arresting PTI chief Imran Khan, stressing that such an event would trigger a nationwide movement that would "sweep away the imported government".
“Imran Khan does not need any police protection, millions of his followers will protect him like a strong wall,” he tweeted. “In the event of Imran Khan's arrest, there will be a movement in Pakistan that will sweep away the imported government. We hope that no one would make such a mistake, but the workers are ready.”