Former PM’s aide arrives at IHC wearing neck brace, arm-sling after thursday’s road accident

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IHC extends Gill’s protective bail till Monday

Zubair Qureshi

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday extended protective bail granted to Shahbaz Gill, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) leader and Chief of Staff of former Prime Minister and Chairman of the PTI, Imran Khan in Masjid-e-Nabvi ‘desecration’ case until May 9 (Monday).

IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Justice Athar Minallah also exempted Gill from appearance on the next date of hearing in view of his physical condition as he met with an accident a day earlier (Thursday) on the M-2 section of the Motorway.

Gill, donning a neck brace and an arm-sling, arrived at the court for hearing.

Speaking in the courtroom, Gill said his only crime was that he belonged to a middle class family and was not to a landlord.

While seeking permission of the court, Gill said, “I give tit-for-tat reply to scathing remarks against my leader Imran Khan and that is my only crime.”

I am the first victim of the coalition government’s vengeance. Only recently the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz said that PTI leaders should be crushed and I am afraid I may not be able to appear in the court on the next hearing given the political victimization by the present government, he said.

However, Chief Justice Athar Minallah cutting him short asked him not to utter such ‘ominous’ words.

The PTI leader claimed that he was a law-abiding citizen, and had always respected the court verdicts even if they were in his favour or against him.

The IHC had restrained the administration from harassing and taking any action against PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhry and Shahbaz Gill while issuing notices to the parties concerned in the Masjid-e-Nabawi desecration case.

Shahbaz Gill alleged on Friday that PML-N leaders, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah “must be involved” in the car accident— which he claims was an attempt on his life — on the M-2 Motorway in which he was injured a day ago.

The PTI leader said the seven people had even threatened him over the phone and he had also provided their phone numbers to his lawyers. On Thursday, Gill, along with three other people, had sustained injuries when a speeding vehicle struck his car near the Khanqah Dogran interchange, Sheikhupura. That same day, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered a probe into the incident, directing authorities to ensure justice.