ISLAMABAD: Punjab Home Minister Col (retd) Muhammad Hashim on Tuesday denied reports Dr. Shahbaz Gill, a senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and former prime minister Imran Khan’s chief of staff, had been tortured in police custody.
Gill, who alleges torture at the hands of police officials, on Monday moved the Islamabad High Court against a sedition case filed against him, accusing the police of charging him at the behest of the federal government headed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
Gill was arrested last Tuesday, a day after he spoke on a talk show aired by ARY News and asked army officers not to follow orders of their top command if they were “against the sentiments of the masses.” ARY News has since also been taken off air by the electronic media regulator which has called Gill’s comments “seditious” and tantamount to inciting mutiny against the military.
Speaking to journalists outside Central Jail Adiala in Rawalpindi where Gill is imprisoned, the home minister said he had met the Khan aide and he was in good health. Hashim said he would brief the PTI chairperson on Gill’s health condition personally.
“He is perfectly alright in the jail,” the minister added. “There is no question of him being beaten up.”
Meanwhile, Provincial Minister for Cooperatives, Environment Protection and Parliamentary Affairs Muhammad Basharat Raja said officers of Adiala jail were being removed “on their criminal silence about illegal actions being done with political prisoner Shahbaz Gill.”
On Friday, local media reported Gill telling the judge at a local court that police had kept him awake at night and tortured him, saying investigators had not carried out a medical examination and lawyers were not being allowed to meet him.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan took to the Twitter last week and condemned what he said was “torture being inflicted on Shahbaz Gill.”
“Under what law & under who’s orders is this being done? If he broke any law then he shd be given a fair hearing,” Khan said. “All laws are being violated with impunity.”