UI professor, Pakistani politician Shahbaz Gill arrested in Pakistan on sedition charges

Shahbaz+Gill%2C+professor+in+Business+and+Pakistani+politician%2C+was+charged+with+sedation+in+Pakistan+on+Aug+9.+Gill+is+currently+hospitalized+in+critical+condition.+

Photo courtesy of Gies College of Business

Shahbaz Gill, professor in Business and Pakistani politician, was charged with sedation in Pakistan on Aug 9. Gill is currently hospitalized in critical condition.

By Cecilia Milmoe, Interim Features Editor

Shahbaz Gill, a professor in Gies and Pakistani politician, was arrested and charged with sedition in Pakistan on Aug. 9.

Gill served as a member of the cabinet of Imran Khan, who was the prime minister of Pakistan from August 2018 to April 2022, and he currently serves as chief of staff for Khan’s political party.

Khan was removed from office by the Parliament of Pakistan through a motion of no-confidence during a constitutional crisis earlier this year.

After being ousted, Khan and his allies claimed that his removal was part of a conspiracy involving the current Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, foreign governments and the military of Pakistan.

On the day of the arrest, Rana Sanaullah, Pakistan’s interior minister, said Gill was arrested on charges of treason and accused Khan of sowing division in the country’s military.

Gill’s arrest came as a result of his appearance on the Pakistani news channel ARY TV, where he spoke about the current political situation in the country and urged Pakistani troops to ignore illegal orders made by military leadership. 

ARY TV had its broadcast permit revoked by Pakistan’s media regulator as a result of airing Gill’s remarks, the Associated Press reported

Following the arrest, Khan and several officials of his political party condemned the decision to arrest Gill. 

Khan tweeted on Aug. 9, “This is an abduction not an arrest. Can such shameful acts take place in any democracy? Political workers (are) treated as enemies. And all to make us accept a foreign backed government of crooks.”

According to Robin Kaler, associate chancellor for Public Affairs, Gill is still employed by the University but is not teaching a course this semester.

“We have not been able to independently verify any of the news about recent events in Pakistan, but we do not condone violence,” Kaler said in an email. “Professor Gill and his family are in our thoughts as we follow this developing situation.”

Gill is currently hospitalized in critical condition following the arrest. 

If he is found guilty, Gill potentially faces the death penalty.

 

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