Thursday, August 18, 2022
ISLAMABAD: A four-member medical board has unanimously recommended that PTI Chairman Imran Khan's chief of staff Shahbaz Gill be monitored further and assessed by specialists.
Gill is at the Pakistan Institute Of Medical Sciences (PIMS), where he is under treatment after being shifted to the medical facility from Adiala Jail.
The medical board unanimously concluded in a post-examination report that the patient needs monitoring and assessment by cardiologists and pulmonologists.
In the report that was submitted to the court, board members Prof Lal Rehman, Dr Ali Miraj Shami, Prof SH Waqar, and Prof Shajee A Siddiqui said that Gill "may need further investigations if required".
In its report, the medical board also said that Gill "is a known case of asthma since childhood and has been on inhaled bronchodilators when required, now presented with shortness of breath, body aches, including left shoulder, back, neck, fight gluteal region and left-sided chest pain".
The board further recommended 10 tests for Gill.
Gill's health is now satisfactory, sources at the Pakistan Institute Of Medical Sciences (PIMS) said Thursday morning, after Gill was brought to the hospital following health complications the night before.
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. Last night he complained of difficulty in breathing and was shifted to the hospital from Adiala Jail.
PIMS sources said that when the former special assistant to the prime minister was brought to the hospital last night, his electrocardiogram (ECG) report was not satisfactory.
"An increase in anxiety levels makes it difficult to breathe and the heartbeat rate starts to rise. However, Gill does not have heart-related issues," the sources said.
The sources at the medical facility said that Gill would be monitored and there are chances that he will undergo a second round of tests.
They added that since his heartbeat was fast a day earlier, he will undergo an ECG today as well.
Talking to the media personnel outside the hospital last night, PTI Punjab leader Ejaz Chaudhry said: "Who will be responsible if something happens to Shahbaz Gill?"
Chaudhry also raised questions regarding the presence of irrelevant people in Gill's hospital room. "There are uniformed police personnel inside the room. There are also some others who should not have been there," Chaudhry said.
"I demand the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) take suo moto notice of the situation at the hospital."
Chaudhry also raised the question: "Though a board of doctors has decided to keep Gill under its observation, why are police swarming his room?"
"They should stay outside the room," he said.
Punjab Home Minister Hashim Dogar said Gill "faces a serious threat to his life", and so he appeals to the higher judiciary to intervene "for the sake of human rights".
"Shahbaz Gill was subjected to physical torture in the presence of the Islamabad police. However, his condition improved during the last three days," Dogar said.
"He [Gill] has been severely depressed. His condition deteriorated when he knew he was again being remanded into police custody," he said.
Referring to the August 17 struggle between the Islamabad and Rawalpindi police forces, the Punjab minister criticised the Islamabad police, saying it shifted Gill to Islamabad under the guard of the Rangers. The Punjab police tried to shift Shahbaz Gill to a nearby hospital, he said.
An Islamabad district and sessions court Wednesday afternoon remanded the senior PTI leader into police custody for 48 hours in its verdict on a review plea seeking his physical remand in the sedition case.
However, after his condition deteriorated, a decision was made to shift him to the hospital. The Rawalpindi police arrived at the jail premises to take Gill's custody.
After a lot of chaos, the Adiala jail authorities handed over his custody to the Islamabad police, in compliance with the court order.
The Rawalpindi Police said it would shift Gill to the DHQ Hospital while the Islamabad Police insisted on transferring the PTI leader to the federal capital as per court orders.
Following the argument, additional personnel of Islamabad Police were called to the jail.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior had also summoned Rangers and FC personnel to execute the court orders.
Terming the developments as an “abduction”, former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said, asking what sort of law allows "getting a certificate from the board of their choice".
“Pakistan is currently facing the worst fascism, workers should be prepared for all kinds of situations,” he wrote on Twitter.
Following the development, the PTI — on its official Twitter handle — shared a video of Gill being transferred to PIMS in an ambulance with an oxygen mask.