PTI chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan has distanced himself from his chief of staff Shahbaz Gill’s controversial remarks aired on ARY News earlier this month, admitting that they were “wrong” and should not have been uttered.
Gill was arrested last week at Banigala Chowk in the capital after a video clip of his controversial remarks, aired on ARY News, went viral on social media.
Later in the day, he was booked on charges of sedition and inciting the public against the state institutions. He is currently incarcerated in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.
In an interview with a TV Channel, Imran said: “He [Gill] shouldn’t have said it because it falls under instigating the army […] it is completely right […] we want to see army as a strong institution.”
However, the PTI chief contended that statements against the establishment were also passed by coalition government leaders Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Maryam Nawaz, Ayaz Sadiq, Nawaz Sharif and others in the past.
Imran said he was “extremely upset” with the treatment meted out at Gill in prison. “It is extremely painful. I didn’t even know this […] Our lawyers told us that his clothes were stripped off and he was beaten up.
“They are torturing and trying to mentally break him.
And they are forcing him to give statements against Imran Khan,” the ex-premier alleged, adding that if “Imran has to say something, he will say it himself […] he doesn’t need Shahbaz Gill for that”. He further revealed that Gill was asked about “Imran and Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed’s meetings”.