PTI fully stands behind Shahbaz Gill: Fawad Chaudhry

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry addresses a press conference. Photo: PID/file   

ISLAMABAD: Rubbishing the rumours that PTI has abandoned Shahbaz Gill following his controversial remarks about the state institutions, the party’s Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry on Monday said that the party fully stood behind the detained PTI leader.

Talking to journalists, Chaudhry said: “Whatever Shahbaz Gill has stated [on a TV channel] is out in the public, and the PTI stands behind him.”

Gill was arrested last Tuesday afternoon from Banigala Chowk in the capital, a day after issuing controversial remarks on a private TV channel. He was subsequently booked on charges of sedition and inciting members of state institutions against the Pakistan Army.

A treason case was registered against him at the Kohsar Police Station under several sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, including 124-A (sedition), 131 (abetting mutiny, or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot if rioting be committed; if not committed), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups, etc), and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), among others.

Fawad, who is a former information minister, said that Gill was arrested as he is “weak” and an “overseas Pakistani”. He added that the government has previously “tortured” him and wants to “torture” Gill again.

As the police continue searching for the mobile phone through which Gill reportedly spoke to the private TV channel, Fawad said that the PTI leader did not use his phone due to the closure of signals on account of Muharram 10.

“He used his landline to call the [private TV channel],” Fawad said, demanding that the case be wrapped up at the earliest as the PTI would not allow Gill to be “tortured” further.

The ex-information minister added that the government only wants a remand of Gill as it wants to “torture” him. “The case against Gill is weak, and that is why the public prosecutor is not presenting his arguments.”