Imran Khan says Pak descending into Banana Republic after close-aide arrested on sedition charges

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that the country “is descending into a Banana Republic” amid the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shahbaz Gill on charges of sedition. Khan, who heads the PTI, has also termed Gill’s arrest as a “conspiracy” to target him, and his party colleagues.

On Twitter, Imran Khan shared a 22-second clip of Gill and wrote: “Descending into a banana republic. The civilised world will be shocked at our levels of barbarism. The worst part is an easy target has been chosen to make an example of through torture & without a fair trial.” Khan further accused the ruling PML-N’s Nawaz Sharif, her daughter Maryam, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PPP leader Asif Zardari for targeting the state institutions ‘in the worst way possible’, and still getting away ‘without even a hint of a reprimand’

Shehbaz Gill, a close aide of Imran Khan, was arrested last week in Islamabad for allegedly making controversial remarks against the Pakistan Army on a private TV channel, local media outlet GeoNews reported. He was eventually booked on charges of sedition and inciting members of state institutions against the Pakistan Army. A day before, he was remanded in two-day custody of the Islamabad police.

PTI secretary general Asad Umar called the court-ordered remand ‘a way to inflict more torture.’ “Despite the worst torture, which was done to him (Gill) in Islamabad, he refused to give a false statement against Imran Khan. The phone was taken by the police while detaining him. There is no reason to ask for remand except to inflict more violence,” a loose translation of his tweet read.

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