Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s close aide arrested ahead of key rally

Islamabad, Aug 9 (EFE).- Shahbaz Gill, a close aide and chief of staff to former Prime Minister Imran Khan, was arrested by policemen in plain clothes ahead of a rally by his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the political group said Tuesday.

“After the ban on ARY yesterday, they’ve today arrested (Shahbaz Gill),” PTI tweeted. The broadcast of ARY News, a supposedly pro-PTI channel, was banned in different parts of the country on Monday.

“Shahbaz Gill was kidnaped by people riding un-named plate vehicle at Bani Gala Chawk,” PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said in a tweet, claiming Gill was taken away by people from the intelligence services rather than the police.

Local Geo TV reported Gill has been taken to an undisclosed location, and a case has been registered against him, at the Bani Gala police station in Islamabad, and it includes treason charges.

The police did not respond to EFE’s request for confirmation of the incident or the details of the case against the PTI member.

Meanwhile, Gill’s social media team, in a Twitter post, claimed he was “tortured and window panes of his car were also broken.”

A video run by leading TV channels in the country showed broken glasses of Gill’s car.

“Pakistan is living under a fascist imported government, who doesn’t care about the human rights of the people of Pakistan,” said PTI, and demanded the “immediate release of Dr Gill.”

PTI chief Imran Khan too tweeted calling Gill’s arrest an abduction. “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.”

Earlier this year, Khan was removed from power in a vote of no confidence after his key allies left the coalition government. Khan accused the United States of being behind the efforts to oust him from power for visiting Russia on the day the latter invaded Ukraine.

On Monday, Gill, in an appearance on ARY channel, spoke about alleged rifts in the military over Khan’s ouster.

The former prime minister has announced a large rally on Aug.13 in Lahore, a day before the country celebrates its day of independence from the British empire.

The cricketer-turned politician, who has demanded fresh elections following his ouster, is likely to announce a future course of action in the rally. EFE


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