'Gill in fragile state of mind': Imran Khan, other PTI leaders react to physical remand order

Islamabad district and sessions court has sent Shahbaz Gill into police custody for 48 hours

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(L to R) PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhry, Imran Khan, and Shireen Mazari. — AFP/File
(L to R) PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhry, Imran Khan, and Shireen Mazari. — AFP/File

The PTI leadership has reacted strongly to the Islamabad district and sessions court's approval of a police request for physical remand of party member Shahbaz Gill for 48 hours in a sedition case filed against him.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan condemned the sessions court's decision, saying that he is concerned about Gill being sent into police custody once more.

"Gill is in a fragile state of mental and physical health because of the torture inflicted upon him when he was abducted and taken to an undisclosed location," Imran wrote on Twitter.

He said that Gill's remand is a "part of the conspiracy to target me and PTI by forcibly getting false statements against us similar to what they have been doing against social media activists".

The PTI chairman vowed to take legal and political action to counter the "extra-constitutional and extra-legal actions being devised against us".

'Utter destruction of human rights in Pakistan' — Fawad Chaudhry

Meanwhile, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry also criticised the order and said that "judges sending political workers in remand for torture while knowing everything are criminals".

Fawad said that there is no parallel to the way human rights are being "utterly destroyed" in Pakistan. He said that Gill is being sent into police custody for "torture" instead of interrogation.

'Laws should be equal for everyone' — Faisal Javed

Senator Faisal Javed Khan said that the authorities may take action against Gill as he "made a huge mistake".

He, however, said that the laws "should be equal for everyone".

"We condemn the treatment meted out at Gill and this House should also condemn it," Javed said in a speech in Senate.

'Spirits still high despite worst torture': Asad Umar

In a tweet, PTI Secretary General Asad Umar said that the reason behind the insistence on the physical remand of Gill is "more torture" as the police seized his phone at the time of his arrest.

"[I] met Shahbaz Gill in Adiala, [his] spirits are high. Despite the worst torture meted out at him in Islamabad, [Gill] refused to make a false statement against Imran Khan," Umar wrote.

Umar, in a press conference, said that the party has provided evidence of alleged torture to Gill to the court.

"They [coalition government] forcefully want to get a statement by inflicting torture on the Gill and we want to bring it in the public record," claimed Umar. He demanded that the party members should know where Gill has been kept and be assured that he is not being tortured.

The former minister maintained the law has been violated by maltreating their party member. "The government leaders should be investigated and questioned too," he demanded.

"The police were provided Gill's physical remand so they could get a statement from him. They are abusing him," Umar reiterated.

'Regime change conspirators using Gill against Imran' — Shireen Mazari

In a Twitter post, PTI leader Shireen Mazari said: "The regime change conspirators are getting desperate to try and get something against Imran Khan, and now using Shahbaz Gill by torturing him to force false statements."

She said Gill has so far resisted despite "extreme torture", first when he was "abducted to an unknown location", and later at a CIA cell.

She further stated that remand into police custody after grant of judicial remand is a "rare" occurrence.

"Pakistan's descent into fascism is happening at a furious pace but we will resist it to the full," she added.