ISLAMABAD: PTI leader Shahbaz Gill was arrested by the Islamabad police “in accordance with the law” on charges of sedition and inciting the public against the state institutions, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Tuesday.
“He will be presented before a court tomorrow [Wednesday],” he said while addressing a press conference, alongside Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, in the federal capital. “A first information report had been registered against the PTI leader on behalf of the state.”
He said: “Gill had made statements against the institutions in an attempt to create hatred among its personnel and inciting them towards revolt.”
Sanaullah said that a case 691/22 was registered against Gill in the Kohsar police station at Magistrate Ghulam Murtaza Chandio’s complaint under sections 34 (common intention), 109 (abetment), 120 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 121 (waging war against state), 124-A (sedition), 131 (abetting mutiny, or attempt to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty), 153 (provoking to cause riot), 505 (statement conducing to public mischief) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Gill was accused of spreading chaos, inciting people against the state along with other serious allegations, he and alleged that a conspiracy was hatched against the state institutions after a meeting presided over by the PTI chief, following Lasbela helicopter crash.
The interior minister accused Gill and Fawad Chaudhry of promoting a narrative against institutions in collaboration with a private news channel.
Sanaullah claimed that the PTI leader’s provocative comments were broadcast more than once against a “disciplined institution” that made it obvious that Imran wanted to divide the nation and mislead youth of the country.
He reiterated that Gill was arrested according to the law and through a proper procedure. “I assure you, he will be treated in accordance with the law. Gill would be produced before the court, and a fair and transparent investigation would be conducted against him.”
Fake cases were registered against the PML-N during the PTI tenure, however, the incumbent government had been abiding by the law and the Constitution, he claimed.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf have claimed the arrest of party leader and Imran Khan’s chief of staff Shahbaz Gill.
Gill has been arrested for making statements against state institutions and inciting the people to rebellion, reported Aaj News on Tuesday. The report said that a case has been registered against the him at the Banigala police station.
PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry tweeted that Shahbaz Gill had been ‘abducted from the Banigala Chowk (roundabout) by men travelling in vehicles without number plates’.
Party chief Imran Khan said it was an abduction and not an arrest.
“Can such shameful acts take place in any democracy? Political workers treated as enemies. And all to make us accept a foreign backed government of crooks,” he tweeted.
The official PTI account also shared the account of the individual driving Gill’s car when he was taken into custody.
“Around 15-20 vehicles with tinted glasses and without number plates stopped us,” he said. They were armed with klashinkovs and broke our cars windows, he continued. The man said that the individuals didn’t show any documents and took Gill into custody. “They treated us like terrorists. They kicked Gill sb and cuffed him like he was a murderer.”
He said that he was also assaulted. “They hit me in the neck with the butt of their weapon while demanding that I hand over [Gill’s] cell phone and data.” He said he didn’t hand it over after which they assaulted him further and then drove off with Gill.
PTI’s Murad Saeed called it yet another attempt by ‘the imported government’ to stifle the opposition.
Comments on news channel
Gill’s arrest follows his comments last night while speaking to ARY News which the media regulator said were tantamount to “inciting armed forces towards revolt”.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) issued a show-cause notice to ARY News for airing Gill’s comments, saying they were “highly hateful and seditious”.
“The statement made by the guest on ARY News is a violation of Article 19 of the Constitution as well as Pemra laws. Airing of such content on your news channel shows either weak editorial control on the content or the licensee is intentionally indulged in providing its platform to such individuals who intend to spread malice and hatred against state institutions for their vested interests,” it stated.
Gill had said that the government was creating divisions within the army by its efforts to provoke the lower and middle tiers against the PTI. He said such members of the army’s rank and file support Imran Khan and his party “which is fuelling rage within the government”.
He also claimed that the “strategic media cell” of the ruling PML-N was spreading false information and fake news to create divisions between PTI chief Imran Khan and the armed forces.