Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s chief of staff Shahbaz Gill was shifted to the PIMS Hospital on Wednesday night after he complained of difficulty in breathing.

Gill has been in police custody since August 9 when the Islamabad police arrested him in a sedition case. According to the Islamabad police spokesperson, he was booked on charges of sedition and inciting members of state institutions against the Pakistan Army. 

According to jail officials, Gill complained of difficulty in breathing and poor health due to alleged torture after which he was shifted to the jail hospital for a checkup. However, when his condition reportedly appeared to have deteriorated, it was decided to shift him to a hospital for a complete medical checkup. 

At the PIMS hospital’s Cardiac Centre, his ECG and blood tests were conducted.

Meanwhile, insiders said his oxygen saturation level was recorded at 97. For healthy individuals, a pulse oximeter reading for oxygen saturation level is between 95% and 100%.

Gill’s blood pressure was 70/110, and a coronavirus test sample was also dispatched to the laboratory. 

Citing doctors, insiders said Gill’s health was satisfactory in the initial medical examination. However, an overall medical report was to be readied in the morning. 

They said the decision to discharge the PTI leader from the hospital would be made after the medical report is received. 

Talking to the media at the hospital’s premises at night, PTI Punjab leader Ejaz Chaudhry said: “Who will be responsible if something happens to Shahbaz Gill?”

He also raised questions regarding the presence of irrelevant people in Gill’s hospital room. “There are uniformed police personnel inside the room. There are also some others who should not have been there,” Chaudhry added. 

“I demand the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) take suo moto notice of the situation at the hospital.”

Chaudhry also raised the question: “Though a board of doctors has decided to keep Gill under its observation, why are police swarming his room?”

“They should stay outside the room,” he said.

HASHIM DOGAR: Punjab Home Minister Hashim Dogar said Gill “faces a serious threat to his life”, and so he appeals to the higher judiciary to intervene “for the sake of human rights”.

“Shahbaz Gill was subjected to physical torture in the presence of the Islamabad police. However, his condition improved during the last three days,” Dogar said.

“He [Gill] has been severely depressed. His condition deteriorated when he knew he was again being remanded into police custody,” he said.

Referring to the August 17 struggle between the Islamabad and Rawalpindi police forces, the minister criticised the Islamabad police, saying it shifted Gill to Islamabad under the guard of the Rangers. The Punjab police tried to shift Shahbaz Gill to a nearby hospital, he said. 

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