- Shahbaz Gill shifted to PIMS Hospital Islamabad late Wednesday.
- Transferred to the hospital under heavy police guard.
- Gill complained of difficulty breathing
ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Chairman PTI Imran Khan’s Chief of Staff Shahbaz Gill was shifted to the PIMS Hospital late Wednesday after he complained of difficulty in breathing.
Gill has been in police custody since August 9 when the Islamabad police arrested him in a sedition case after he passed controversial remarks on a private news channel. According to the Islamabad police spokesperson, he was booked on charges of sedition and inciting members of state institutions against the Pakistan Army.
According to sources in jail, it was learnt that Gill complained of difficulty in breathing and poor health due to alleged torture after which he was shifted to the jail hospital for a checkup. However, when his condition reportedly appeared to have deteriorated, it was decided that he will be shifted to a hospital for a complete medical checkup.
At the PIMS hospital’s Cardiac Centre, doctors conducted an initial medical checkup. Different tests, including blood tests and ECG, were also set to be carried out.
The sources said his oxygen saturation level was recorded at 97. For healthy individuals, a pulse oximeter reading for oxygen saturation level is between 95% and 100%.
Gill’s blood pressure was found to be 70/110, the sources said, adding that a coronavirus test sample was also dispatched to the laboratory.
The sources, citing doctors, said Gill’s health was found to be satisfactory in the initial medical examination. However, an overall medical report was to be readied in the morning.
The sources said the decision to discharge the PTI leader from the hospital will be made after the medical report is received.
Talking to the media at the hospital’s premises at night, PTI Punjab leader Ejaz Chaudhry said: “Who will be responsible if something happens to Shahbaz Gill?”
Chaudhry also raised questions regarding the presence of irrelevant people in Gill’s hospital room. “There are uniformed police personnel inside the room. There are also some others who should not have been there,” Chaudhry said.
“I demand the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) take suo moto notice of the situation at the hospital.”
Chaudhry also raised the question: “Though a board of doctors has decided to keep Gill under its observation, why are police swarming his room?”
“They should stay outside the room,” he said.
Punjab home minister concerned for Gill
Punjab Home Minister Hashim Dogar said Gill “faces a serious threat to his life”, and so he appeals to the higher judiciary to intervene “for the sake of human rights”.
“Shahbaz Gill was subjected to physical torture in the presence of the Islamabad police. However, his condition improved during the last three days,” Dogar said.
“He [Gill] has been severely depressed. His condition deteriorated when he knew he was again being remanded into police custody,” he said.
Referring to the August 17 struggle between the Islamabad and Rawalpindi police forces, the Punjab minister criticised the Islamabad police, saying it shifted Gill to Islamabad under the guard of the Rangers. The Punjab police tried to shift Shahbaz Gill to a nearby hospital, he said.
Federal, Punjab govts at loggerheads
Earlier yesterday, an Islamabad district and sessions court remanded the senior PTI leader into police custody for 48 hours in its verdict on a review plea seeking his physical remand in the sedition case.
However, after his condition deteriorated, a decision was made to shift him to the hospital. The Rawalpindi police arrived at the jail premises to take Gill’s custody. After a lot of chaos, the Adiala jail authorities handed over his custody to the Islamabad police, in compliance with the court order.
The Rawalpindi Police said it would shift Gill to the DHQ Hospital while the Islamabad Police insisted on transferring the PTI leader to the federal capital as per court orders. Following the argument, additional personnel of Islamabad Police were called to the jail.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior had also summoned Rangers and FC personnel to execute the court orders.
Fawad Chaudhry asks workers to gear up
Terming the developments as an “abduction”, former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said, asking what sort of law allows “getting a certificate from the board of their choice”.
“Pakistan is currently facing the worst fascism, workers should be prepared for all kinds of situations,” he wrote on Twitter.
شہباز گل کو جیل سے اغواء کیا گیا اپنی مرضی کے بورڈ سے مرضی کے سرٹیفیکیٹ حاصل کرنا کون سے قانون میں لکھا ہے؟ پاکستان اس وقت بد ترین فسطائیت کا سامنا کر رہا ہے کارکنان ہر طرح کی صورتحال کیلئے تیار رہیں
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) August 17, 2022
Following the development, the PTI — on its official Twitter handle — shared a video of Gill being transferred to PIMS in an ambulance with an oxygen mask.
The unprecedented torture on our Dr @SHABAZGIL has compromised his health as it is clearly visible. Human rights are non existent, international convention have been broken by this government! #شہباز_گل_کو_رہا_کرو #PakistanUnderFascism pic.twitter.com/RYvf6N2Fur
— PTI (@PTIofficial) August 17, 2022