ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senior Vice-President Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Saturday called for constituting an independent panel comprising politicians to probe the alleged custodial torture of Shahbaz Gill.
He said senior PTI leader Dr Shireen Mazari, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar and Federal Minister from Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) Khawaja Saad Rafique should be members of the panel.
Explaining why the two PPP and PMLN members should be a part of the panel, Fawad said they have a point of view on torture independent of their parties’ narrative; therefore, they should be given responsibility of inquiring into the events concerning Gill. Talking to the media outside the Police Lines Headquarters here, he emphasised that torture, whether physical or mental, would not be allowed under any circumstances. Those who tortured and those who issued orders for it should be brought before the public, he said.
“I request the Supreme Court to take notice of the incident, as the superior judiciary’s role in standing up against torture is extremely important. “The judges of the Islamabad High Court should look at their magistrates and the way they took a stand against torture.
“You are giving remand despite evidence of torture. The superior judiciary doesn’t have this mindset… instead they believe in investigating the matter of torture first,” he added.
He was appreciative of the Islamabad magistrate for ruling that Gill’s medical reports did not reflect his physical condition and ordered that he should be moved back to PIMS. “The magistrate took a brave decision despite pressure from so many sides. The superior judiciary should learn from the lower judiciary”.
Fawad claimed that the PMLN wanted Gill’s physical remand, so that he could be forced to give a statement against Imran, saying they wanted him to say that those comments were actually the statements of Imran Khan. “Therefore, in this situation, we won’t accept any inquiry conducted by the Islamabad Police,” he added.
Separately, another PTI senior leader and former minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan also demanded the formation of a judicial commission to probe the alleged sexual assault and torture of Shahbaz Gill during the police custody.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, he said there were various issues related to the interview of Shahbaz Gill to a private TV channel, his arrest by the police and his torture, which should be brought before the public. He said only a judicial commission could investigate the matter thoroughly.
Meanwhile, official sources said a four-member medical board of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) had been constituted, which would conduct complete medical examination of Shahbaz Gill to bring to light his torture allegations.
Experts from the fields of medicine, general surgery, pulmonology and the medical ICU are members of the board. Associate Professor Medicine Shafaat Rasool is heading the board while General Surgeon Atif Inaam Shami, Pulmonologist Dr Zia and Medical ICU’s Assistant Professor Dr Salman have been included in the board as members.
The board would treat the PTI leader and submit a report on his health condition. The report would then be submitted to the court.
Also, top police bosses regretted on Saturday that concocted and fake campaign of torture and sexual assault on the accused Shahbaz Gill was being run by a section of activists and leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Terming the allegations disappointing, they said in a statement that the campaign had been launched to insult the federal capital police just to put pressure on it to achieve certain motives. “Legal action will be taken against those elements found involved in slandering and maligning the police force,” said the statement. If anybody had any evidence about the allegations levelled about the police torture, that could be provided to the Islamabad Police authorities. The police requested the people not to become part of any concocted and false campaign without verification.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Islamabad, Dr Akbar Nasir, was contacted by this scribe to verify the reports of a medical board to examine the accusation of a sexual assault. He said, “The police have yet not received any such complaint from the accused that he was sexually assaulted during the course of investigation.” The IGP added that political statements could not be entertained.
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