ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan has distanced himself from his chief of staff Shahbaz Gill’s controversial remarks, aired on a private TV channel saying he should not have said that.

Gill was arrested last week at Banigala Chowk in Islamabad after a video clip of his controversial remarks went viral on social media. In an interview with journalist Fereeha M Idrees on a TV channel today, 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 went on to say that he was “extremely upset” with the treatment meted out to 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, if “Imran has to say something, he will say it himself […] he doesn’t need Shahbaz Gill for that.”

Imran also claimed that everything that happened with Gill was a conspiracy to “scare PTI supporters” and “create an impression that PTI is against the army and martyrs.”

“This is their entire plan to shut my supporters,”   Imran pointed out, continuing that the same was being done with You Tubers who spoke up in support of him.