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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry on Monday rubbished the reports that the party abandoned Dr Shahbaz Gill the chief of staff to the PTI chairman – following his controversial remarks about state institutions, and the party fully stands by him.

Speaking at a presser here, he said that “whatever Shahbaz Gill has stated on a TV channel is out in public, and the PTI stands behind him”.

Gill was arrested last week, a day after issuing controversial remarks on a private TV channel. He was subsequently booked on charges of sedition and inciting members of state institutions against the all-powerful military.

A treason case was registered against him at the Kohsar Police Station under several sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, including 124-A (sedition), 131 (abetting mutiny, or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot if rioting be committed; if not committed), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups, etc), and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), among others.

Fawad, who is a former information minister, said that Gill was arrested as he is weak and an overseas Pakistani, adding the government has previously tortured him and wants to torture Gill again.

As the police continue searching for the mobile phone through which Gill reportedly spoke to the private TV channel, Fawad said that the PTI leader did not use his phone due to the closure of signals on account of Muharram 10.

“He used his landline to call the TV channel,” he said, and demanded that the case be wrapped up at the earliest as the PTI would not allow Gill to be tortured further.

“Let me make it clear that the whole party stands by him and we will not allow the government to torture him anymore as it’s nothing but political victimisation,” he maintained.

He said that the government only wants a remand of Gill as it wants to torture him, adding the case against Gill is weak, and that is why the public prosecutor is not presenting his arguments.

He alleged that efforts are being made to kidnap and shift him to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), which is not acceptable. He also came down hard at the Interior Minister, Rana Sanaullah, saying the man has established the worst tradition of torturing children and women, which is evident from the treatment given to the 10-month-old kid of Gill’s driver.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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