IHC accepts Shahbaz Gill’s bail plea in sedition case

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday accepted the bail plea of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shahbaz Gill in the sedition case, ordering him to submit the surety bonds of Rs500,000.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the case, and Salman Safdar, lawyer for Shahbaz Gill, read before the court the text of the first information report (FIR) against the PTI leader.

“The sedition case against Shahbaz Gill is political. It is ill-intentioned and against the law. Gill was a special assistant to the prime minister in the PTI government, and he was made Imran Khan’s Chief of Staff after the ouster of the PTI government,” the lawyer argued before the court.

“Did Shahbaz Gill say all those things?” the IHC chief justice questioned the lawyer about Gill’s seditious remarks.

“Can these things be justified? Can these words of the spokesperson for a political party be justified? Should political parties drag the armed forces into politics? It is not just a speech,” the IHC chief justice remarked.

“Part of Shahbaz Gill’s speech was taken out of context. Nowhere did he try to ridicule the army. His entire conversation was related to the strategic media cell,” Salman Safdar adopted before the court.

“Look at this speech, [and see] to what extent the political parties have spread hatred in society. This conversation shows how far hatred has been spread,” the IHC chief justice remarked.

“No one else has the authority to file a case on behalf of the armed forces. The sedition provisions have also been added to the case against Shahbaz Gill,” Salman Safdar said.

“The trial court dismissed the case of the prosecution. Shahbaz Gill’s remand was made very controversial. The sedition provisions also made the case controversial,” he added.

“The trial court held that 12 of the 13 provisions are not applied to Shahbaz Gill,” the counsel of Shahbaz Gill told the court.

“At least they spared one provision,” IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked.

Earlier, all the paths, leading to the IHC, were blocked with barriers and barbed wires. Police and the FC personnel were also deployed outside the court.