Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders traded barbs with federal government minister over the grant of physical remand of senior party leader Shehbaz Gill to the Islamabad police on the order of the additional sessions court on Wednesday.
Gill, who was lodged in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail after being sent on judicial remand by a judicial magistrate, was handed over to the Islamabad police late on Wednesday after high drama at the jail because the authorities were reluctant about his transfer to the federal capital.
According to some media reports, the jail authorities insisted that prisoners of the Adiala jail underwent medical check-ups at the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital in Rawalpindi, taking the stand that the medical team from Islamabad could not check the prisoners.
After reports of a stand-off between the police teams of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, the Interior Ministry had summoned Rangers and the Frontier Corps (FC) to execute the court orders. Another report suggested that the jail authorities were warned of a contempt of court case if they did not hand over Gill.
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb accused PTI Chairman Imran Khan of blatantly violating court orders and putting undue pressure on the bureaucracy of Punjab over Gill’s custody. She said the PTI disregarded all laws, as it was using every tactic to protect Gill from the investigation.
Earlier, PTI Chairman Imran tweeted that Gill was in a fragile state of mental and physical health because of the torture inflicted upon him following his arrest. Terming Gill’s arrest a conspiracy to target him and the PTI, Imran said that he would take legal action against these extra-Constitutional actions.
“Very concerned about Shahbaz Gill being sent into police remand again. He is in a fragile state of mental & physical health because of the torture inflicted on him when he was abducted & taken to undisclosed location & then again at the police station,” Imran said in a series of tweets.
“This is part of conspiracy to target me & PTI by forcibly getting false statements against us similar to what they have been doing against social media activists. This is absolutely unacceptable. We will take all legal & pol actions to counter not only this torture being inflicted upon Shahbaz Gill but also any such extra-Constitutional & extra-legal actions being devised against us.”
Earlier, senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry demanded inquiry into “the torture on Gill”. Talking to reporters, he stressed that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) should conduct the inquiry, voicing hope that the court would decide the matter on merit.
Chaudhry told reporters that only the PTI could keep Pakistan united. He alleged that at present, the basic human rights were suspended in Pakistan. “People are being kidnapped and tortured for the personal ego of the rulers,” he added.
Later, the Islamabad Police rejected all allegations levelled by the PTI leadership. A police spokesperson said that Gill was not subjected to any kind of violence during his physical remand. The spokesperson added that Gill underwent regular medical check-ups, on the directions of the court and judges.
The spokesperson clarified that the Islamabad police has completed all legal requirements on the orders of the court. He added that the authorities would adhere to the orders and expected that the jail administration would cooperate in this regard.
Meanwhile, reacting to information minister’s remarks, PTI leader Farrukh Habib claimed that Marriyum Aurangzeb had been tasked to spread propaganda against PTI. “She should first comment on her own party leaders who are currently summoned by the courts,” he said.
“Imran Khan has never encouraged violation of laws,” the PTI leader said, adding that it was the plan of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to force Gill to give a statement against the party chairman by torturing him.
(WITH INPUT FROM NEWS DESK)