Pakistani police on Tuesday arrested former Prime Minister Imran Khan's aide on suspicion of inciting an army officer's rebellion.
Shahbaz Gill was "dragged" from his car and detained just outside the capital Islamabad after being tortured, according to Khan's opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. is doing.
Footage aired by a local TV channel showed the windows of Gil's car shattered.
"This is a kidnapping, not an arrest," Khan tweeted. "How can such shameful acts take place in a democracy? Politicians treated as enemies, and all to make us accept foreign-backed crook governments."
Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaura revealed at a press conference hours later that police officials had made the arrest and subsequently registered a sedition case against an opposition figure "on behalf of the state."
Gil, an American citizen, has been charged with "facilitating a mutiny and attempting to remove soldiers, sailors and airmen from duty," the minister said. will appear in court and the court will decide." It originates from He spoke of rifts within the military over Khan being ousted from power in a no-confidence vote in parliament in April.
Shebaz Sharif, then leader of the opposition party, has since become the new prime minister of the multi-party coalition government.
PTI leader and Supreme Court attorney Faisal Hussein, along with independent legal experts, dismissed the charges against Gil, saying the country's constitution gives citizens the right to freedom of expression. said.
Suspension of media outlets
Shortly after ARY News aired the comments in question, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) ordered cable operators across the country to I ordered it to be blocked immediately. Sending channels until "Follow me".
State regulators later sent formal "show cause notices" to the stations, accusing them of showing "false, hateful and inflammatory content." Gill's comments, aired by ARY News, went on to claim that they were "the same as inciting [the public] in the military to revolt." was rejected as illegal. PTI leaders and rights advocates also criticized the move as an attempt to suppress media freedom in Pakistan.
“HRCP strongly opposes @ARYNEWSOFFICIAL disruption. Rights must be protected," Pakistan's independent Human Rights Commission tweeted.
Critics say sedition allegations are often used to intimidate and harass news outlets and journalists critical of powerful military institutions.
Khan claims the US colluded with Sharif and other opposition parties to overthrow his nearly four-year-old government, an allegation Washington vehemently denies. He dismissed the Sharif regime as an "imported government."
The outgoing Prime Minister also indirectly accused him of supporting what he claimed was a US-sponsored "regime change" program. Pakistan's foreign policy of independence from U.S. influence
Gill's arrest on Tuesday saw his 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician Khan leave the capital of central Punjab province on August 13. It happened while he was planning to speak at a large rally in Lahore.
The rally took place the day before Pakistan celebrated its independence day from British colonial rule in 1947.