LAHORE - Punjab Home Minister Hashim Dogar Thursday told the Punjab Assembly that Shahbaz Gill had become a psychiatric patient as he was brutally tortured by Islamabad police.

“His life is in danger. He is so terrified and scared that he even did not tell me anything [about the torture] when I went to see him in jail”, he told the House as the Assembly discussed the issue of his detention on Wednesday. He said Gill was arrested by Islamabad Police in a manner as if he was terrorist. He has been treated like animals in police custody, he added. The minister further stated that the jail superintendent illegally kept him in a locked up in a tight corner called “Chakki” to inflict mental torture. “He was not tortured in the prison though, but he was locked up in “Chakki” on the first day in violation of rules”, he said, adding that Gill was so scared that he did not tell him anything. “When Asad Umar met Shahbaz Gul, he was fine”, he told the House.

The home minister said two jail officials have been transferred for keeping Shahbaz Gill in a separate confinement in a small cell where the prisoner cannot sleep. He alleged that Shahbaz Gul fell unconscious due to the cruelty of the blue uniformed men. He said Shahbaz Gill was being taken to the hospital, but the Islamabad police stopped the vehicle. “Despite all our concerns, he was handed over to the federal authorities and admitted in PIMS. The Minister alleged that the federal government tried to create a situation to justify imposition of emergency in Punjab. “If Shahbaz Gul was related to the Royal family, this would not have happened to him”, he said.

Hashim Dogar who is a retired colonel, commended the Pakistan army saying that it was the guardian of the country’s frontiers.  We do not want to damage our institutions. The establishment is very important for this country. Our forces are a big reason for the survival of the country”, he averred.

Assembly passes University of Kamalia bill

Demanding justice for Shahbaz Gill, the minister said: “We, on behalf of the assembly, demand the federal government to do justice to Shahbaz Gill”.  Talking about May 25 incidents, the minister said that disciplinary action will begin today (Wednesday) against thirty police officers. “They have harassed our women and members of assembly. We have fired the officer who pulled the pistol on the woman. We are working according to the law and we will take full action. We will withdraw all invalid cases within 24 hours. 186 of our people were harassed. We will not harass anyone”.

Meanwhile, the House witnessed uproar over indecent remarks uttered by Provincial minister Mian Aslam Iqbal who grilled the Opposition for inflicting torture on the PTI workers during the long march. The opposition members shouted back at Mian Aslam Iqbal addressing him in the same manner. The speaker expunged the minister’s remarks from the Assembly proceedings and the matter was settled.  On the issue of nurses staging protest outside the Assembly, Minister for Primary and Secondary Health Care Dr. Akhtar Malik said that he had given instructions to DG Nursing to solve the problem of the nurses who are protesting on Mall Road. The problems of the protesting nurses will be resolved soon”, Dr. Akhtar assured the House.

“I assure you that there will be no problem with the local purchase authority. Each hospital has a purchase committee and central purchase for supplies of the drugs to the hospitals”, he said.

The PML-N members, however, staged a token walk-out from the House for not solving the problems of the protesting nurses. Also, the Punjab Assembly passed the University of Kamalia Bill 2022. A PML-N member Rahila Khadim Hussain pointed out a lack of quorum during the approval of the bill, but the Treasury succeeded in meeting the quorum.