Senators clash over Shahbaz Gill and anti-Army campaign

The Senate became hostile on Thursday as treasury bench lawmakers
lambasted Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) for running a smear campaign against the
Pakistan Army. The opposition in response accused the government of fueling a rift
between the PTI and the military.

Later, the opposition senators staged a walkout against the alleged torture of PTI
leader Shahbaz Gill who is currently in police custody for making “highly hateful and
seditious” comments about the military on a television network that tantamounted to
“incite armed forces towards revolt”.

The federal Minister for Climate Change, Sherry Rehman, slammed PTI over their
alleged anti-army campaign and praised the Pakistan armed forces for their flood
rescue operations. She further pointed out the special treatment meted to PTI
chairman Imran Khan, noting how ‘other political leaders have compromised and
spent years in jails” including Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and Maryam

“PTI’s gross hypocrisy has been exposed even more acutely. They hired an American
consulting firm Grenier Consulting in 2021 run by a former CIA station chief in
Islamabad to lobby and advise the party on Pak-US relations” Ms Rehman said,
adding that this was during Imran Khan’s term when he was making anti-US speeches
and isolating Pakistan internationally.
She added that these “shocking details” of PTI’s deals, first with Grenier Consulting
and recently with Fenton Arluck should be questioned as should the ‘real freedom’
campaign by Mr Khan.

Earlier, The Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention and Punishment) Bill 2022,
landed in the house after being passed by National Assembly to protect persons
during custody from all acts of torture perpetrated by public officials. The bill was
referred by the chair to the standing committee concerned.

Vehemently criticizing the government for the alleged torture of Mr Gill, the leader of
the Opposition Dr Shahzad Waseem questioned the status of the anti-torture bill. He
claimed that Mr Gill was having breathing problems and that “he is subjected to so
much torture that a statement could be extracted from him to use against Imran Khan
and PTI’.

House Leader and Law Minister, Azam Nazeer Tarar, insisted that legal recourse was
being pursued to obtain the physical remand of Shahbaz Gill, but the Punjab
government was obstructing the federation and not complying with court orders. He
agreed there was no room for torture in the Constitution and the law but added that it
was “wrong to run away from investigation in the name of torture”.

In an act of solidarity, PPP leader Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar tweeted in support of Mr
Gill after seeing ‘disturbing pictures of physical torture’ of the PTI leader. As stated,
‘No matter how much you disagree with or dislike him, a man’s dignity should not
have been violated like this.”
Khokhar further added that the government was either “complicit or spineless” for not
preventing such an atrocity and that Pakistan Democratic Movement is “serving
democracy by torturing political opponents”.

His statements come after a four-member medical board recommended further
monitoring and assessment of Gill’s health including further specialist tests. In the
medical report, submitted to the Islamabad High Court (IHC), it is stated that Gill has
had asthma since childhood and has been on inhaled bronchodilators when required. It
also reports that he presented with shortness of breath, body aches and left-sided chest

Shahbaz Gill, the former chief of staff for then prime minister Imran Khan, was
arrested near the Bani Gala chowk in Islamabad. He was later sent to Adiala Jail but a
judicial magistrate granted the Islamabad police two-day physical remand to conduct
a medical examination after the PTI leader complained of breathing issues, moving
him to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).

PTI officials condemn the torture of their party members and allege that the Shahbaz
Gill may be coerced into making statements under duress.

Faisalabad businessman’s wife seeks bail on viral assault case

The hearing of the post-arrest bail of a female suspect in the
Faisalabad kidnapping, torture and sexual assault case of a BDS student over her
refusal to marry the main suspect has been set for Aug 20th by the Additional District
and Sessions Judge Haider Ali Arif.

The shocking video of the assault on the BDS student, Khadija Mehmood, by
businessman Sheikh Danish Ali has grappled the country. The suspect’s wife initially
declared as a maid in the FIR has submitted her bail application and is requesting
release on surety. She is currently on judicial remand.

Meanwhile, the FIA has included the main suspect’s daughter, Ana Ali, who is still at
large in the provisional national identification list (PNIL) for the interim 30 days stop
list of fugitives. The suspect, a class fellow of the victim, is wanted by the Faisalabad
police and is at risk of fleeing abroad.

Following the widely circulated video of the assault, the FIA cyber crime wing also
registered a case against the main suspect, his wife and daughter for making and
distributing the torture video.

The video shows the suspect beating the victim, cutting her hair and forcing her to
lick the shoes of the accused. A medical report issued by DHQ doctors confirms
torture marks while the Punjab Forensic Science Agency has sent swabs for
examining sexual assault.
The FIR for the complainant was registered under section 109 of the Pakistan Penal
Code and sections 3, 4, 16, 20, 21 and 24 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act
of 2016.

Meanwhile, the main suspect, Sheikh Danish Ali, was attacked by a group of outraged
lawyers when he was produced before the judicial magistrate. The police contingent
rescued him and escorted him into a police van. The Judicial Magistrate, Ali Raza,
granted the police five-day physical remand of the suspect.

Peshawar honour killing 3 women shot dead

Three women, including two sisters, were killed in the name of honour
by family members in the Daudzai area on Thursday.

The two deceased sisters were identified as Ms Bushra and Ms Amna, whereas the
third woman was identified as their sister-in-law Ms Ameena.

The father of the two sisters, Mr Yaseen, filled the FIR and charged his son Amjid, his
brother Farhad and three other persons for the murder. He expressed that his son was
suspicious about the character of his sisters.

He claimed that he, his nephew and the three women were going somewhere when the
suspects emerged from nearby maize crops and indiscriminately fired on the women
and killed them.

After the murder, the suspects escaped.

The FIR was registered at Daudzai police station under sections 302, 311, 148 and
148 of the Pakistan Penal Code.


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