Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah Khan addressing a press conference at PTV Headquarters. — APP photo by Irshad Sheikh

Shahbaz Gill ‘faking it’, ‘no abuse of any kind occurred’: Rana Sanaullah

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Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah Khan addressing a press conference at PTV Headquarters. — APP photo by Irshad Sheikh
  • Rana Sanaullah says Shahbaz Gill “was not tortured”.
  • Interior minister says Imran Khan can file a case against “the one involved” if he believes Gill was tortured.
  • Says Imran Khan is “peddling false propaganda” in view of the imminent verdict of the Toshakhana and foreign funding cases.

Federal Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah Khan on Friday said that PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s aide Shahbaz Gill was “not subjected to abuse of any kind” during his detention and that he is “just faking it”.

Gill has been in police custody since August 9 when the Islamabad police arrested him in a sedition case after he passed controversial remarks on a private news channel. According to the Islamabad police spokesperson, he was booked on charges of sedition and inciting members of state institutions against the Pakistan Army.

“No abuse of any kind occurred. Shahbaz Gill is just faking it. He was not tortured,” the minister said to Geo News in a telephonic conversation.

“Imran Khan is lying, as always, that Gill was sexually abused,” he said.

The interior minister asked Imran Khan to file an application against “the one involved”, if he believes a crime was committed.

He warned PTI leaders of legal action if they try to barge into the Red Zone or PIMS Hospital.

The PML-N leader said the PTI chief knows that the verdict of the Toshakhana and foreign funding case is about to come “therefore, he is peddling false propaganda”.

Police inquiry launched under IG Islamabad

Meanwhile, a police inquiry was instituted to investigate the torture allegations.

According to sources, the IG Islamabad is leading the inquiry and has been ordered by the Islamabad High Court to submit a report.

The sources said DIG Headquarters Islamabad chaired an important meeting with top police officials and the investigation team. The probe team briefed the high-ups about judicial proceedings.

The police have also started recording statements to probe the torture allegations. Statements were taken from doctors on Gill’s health condition.

The sources further said that the diet of the PTI leader will be fully monitored.

Shahbaz Gill not fine: court

According to sources in jail, it was learnt that Gill complained of difficulty in breathing and poor health due to the alleged torture after which he was shifted to the jail hospital for a checkup. However, when his condition reportedly appeared to have deteriorated, it was decided that he will be shifted to a hospital for a complete medical checkup.

On August 17, Gill was shifted to the PIMS hospital’s Cardiac Centre late in the night. A three-member board of doctors took his multiple tests, including blood tests, ECG and coronavirus test. 

On August 18, the PIMS hospital’s board released Gill’s medical report that declared him absolutely fit and healthy. All his tests were clear, according to the report. 

On August 19, he was shifted to an Islamabad district and sessions court from the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in a wheelchair. While he was being hustled from the ambulance to the court, Gill appeared to burst into tears. 

Despite the Islamabad police’s demand for an extension of Gill’s physical remand in a sedition case, the district and sessions court judge ordered him sent back to the Cardiac Centre of the PIMS for a reassessment of his health.

“Shahbaz Gill’s condition is not fine,” the court remarked while announcing the verdict reserved by duty judge Judicial Magistrate Raja Farrukh Ali Khan.

A couple of videos of Gill crying and complaining of difficulty breathing went viral on social media. At the court premises, he was provided with an oxygen cylinder. 

Imran Khan demands justice for Gill

PTI Chairman Imran Khan decided to visit Gill at the medical facility in the federal capital. However, he was denied access to his chief of staff. 

Later, the PTI chief announced rallies countrywide to express solidarity with his chief of staff, claiming that he faced “sexual abuse” in police custody.

In a series of tweets, Imran demanded justice for Gill. “All the pictures and videos show clearly Gill was tortured both mentally and physically, including sexual abuse — most too gruesome to relate,” the PTI chairman said.

The PTI chairman claimed the police humiliated Gill and that he now has detailed information about the events regarding Gill’s “torture”.

“ICT police says it did not inflict any torture. So my question is: Who tortured Gill?” Khan asked.

The PTI chairman added that there is a general perception in the public at large and in “our minds too as to who could have carried out the gruesome torture”.

“Remember the public will react. We will leave no stone unturned to find out those responsible and bring them to justice,” he added.

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