Federal Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb has termed the allegations that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shahbaz Gill was tortured in police custody “propaganda”.
PTI leader Shahbaz Gill was arrested on August 9 following his comments no a TV programme wherein he had allegedly called for mutiny in the military.
The PTI and its chairman, Imran Khan, have alleged that Gill was tortured in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail, with Khan claiming on Friday that the torture included sexual abuse.
While addressing a press conference on Saturday, Marriyum Aurangzeb said that propaganda was underway that torture and sexual abuse had occurred in order to distract attention from the case for which Gill was arrested in the first place.
Marriyum said that she was categorically stating that torture should not be carried out, but it did not happen in this case.
The information minister claimed that the ‘video’ of Gill’s torture was actually that of a different incident in Chakwal, in which locals tortured a child predator. She claimed that the video had been edited and portrayed as that of Gill’s alleged torture.
She further said that spreading such videos fell under the purview of cybercrime.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said that in inquiry into the allegations of torture was underway and that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah would be holding a press conference with the evidence soon.
She said that the point of making such claims to distract people from the case at hand, similar to how Lasbela helicopter martyrs were criticised when the foreign funding verdict came out.
She also showed a video of Gill, claiming that it was shot an hour back, and which showed Gill to be well and interacting with police without an oxygen mask.
She said the video showed Gill’s “real situation”. On Friday, when Gill was brought to court he had appeared to be in tears and was pleading for an oxygen mask.
On Friday, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had said that no torture had occurred and that Gill was faking it.
Meanwhile on Saturday, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that an independent panel consisting of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan People’s Party and PTI members should be formed to investigate the ‘torture’ matter.