Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday called his supporters out on Saturday to protest the alleged torture of PTI leader Shahbaz Gill and restrictions on Ary News.
Announcing several rallies, Pakistani leader Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) called on everyone to join the protest against the Shehbaz Sharif government.
“Tomorrow I will be leading a rally after the Maghreb, from China Chowk to F9 Park, in support of Dr Gill and to protest against the torture inflicted on him. We will also protest against the muzzling of Ary simply because Ary n didn’t have the official line and covered our story,” Imran Khan tweeted.
“I invite everyone to join us tomorrow and raise your voice in protest,” he said in another tweet.
Gill was arrested by police on August 9 after making controversial comments on television against the Pakistani military that were deemed “highly hateful and seditious” by the country’s media authorities.
Imran’s close associate was arrested on charges of colluding with a private television news channel in the context of anti-state propaganda.
Notably, Pakistani regulatory watchdog PEMRA alleged that the ARY News channel was broadcasting “false, hateful and riotous” content based on “outright disinformation with a clear and present threat to national security by inciting rebellion within armed forces”.
Imran Khan’s party claimed that Gill had already been tortured in police custody and that his life was still in danger. He said a protest was being organized in support of Gill who he said suffered physical torture including sexual abuse.
“If a political worker [like Shahbaz Gill] can be subjected to such torture, it could happen to anyone,” the PTI chief told reporters outside the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad, as quoted by the Dawn newspaper.
The head of the PTI, in an earlier statement, said Pakistan was “turning into a banana republic”.
He even warned Pakistan’s military establishment to “review its policy” while saying he would rather die than accept the Shehbaz Sharif government.
The warning comes as the PTI leader is embroiled in a battle with the ruling coalition, which he says came to power as a result of a US-backed plot against him.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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