Islamabad [Pakistan], December 3 (ANI): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Senator Azam Swati was taken from Islamabad to Quetta aboard a special flight amid tight security on Friday. Swati was shifted to Quetta after the judicial magistrate of Islamabad handed over his custody to the Balochistan police, Dawn reported.
A few days back, an FIR was filed at the Kuchlak police station on the application of a citizen who complained that Swati had used abusive language. Swati made objectionable remarks against Pakistan army officers. Notably, Azam Swati was arrested on November 27 for sharing controversial tweets, as per the Dawn report.
As per the report, Azam Swati was taken to an unknown place from Quetta airport. Azam Swati also faces cases registered at Bela, Hub, Khuzdar, Pasni and Zhob police stations. He was given to Balochistan police on transit demand and asked to appear before the court on December 4.
On Thursday, Pakistan's Judicial Magistrate Shabbir Bhatti announced that the senator will be sent for a 14-day judicial remand on the request of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), as per the news report. FIA's cybercrime wing arrested him and filed an FIR after he made a "fiery" speech at a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rally in Rawalpindi.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan raised concern over the treatment being given to his party senator and called the behaviour "shocking and condemnable." The cricketer-turned-politician has called for the release of Azam Swati.
On December 3, Imran Khan in a series of tweets said, "The entire nation is shocked at the vindictive cruelty Senator Azam Swati is being subjected to & for what crime? For intemperate language & asking questions which is the right of anyone in a democracy? Internationally Pak and esp our military is being perceived increasingly negatively."
He further said, "Because the present Imported govt is seen as a mere puppet govt. One had hoped the new military leadership would have immersed disassociated from the 8 mths of Bajwa's fascist actions against PTI, the media & critical journalists. The 74 yr old heart patient Senator Swati must be released immediately."
PTI Chairman Imran Khan added, "not only because he has committed no crime to deserve this mental & physical torture, but also because this petulant & vengeful targeting is undermining our military's credibility which is critical for a strong Pakistan."
On December 2, Khan tweeted, "The vengeful manner in which Senator Swati is being treated is shocking & condemnable. He was moved to PIMS early morning after suffering severe chest pains & breathing issues. While test results were awaited, Quetta police got him discharged & took him away endangering his life."
Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) reserved its verdict on the maintainability of a petition filed against shifting of Senator Swati to other provinces, as per the Dawn report. The petition has requested the court to give details regarding the cases registered against Swati.
Additional Attorney General (AAG) Munawar Iqbal Duggal said that police had become a subject of provincial governments. Duggal stressed the federal government cannot give any direction to police chiefs of the provinces. The IHC Chief Justice Farooq inquired whether the centre had any administrative control over the provincial police, as per the Dawn report.
AAG Munawar Iqbal Duggal said that the federal government can coordinate with the provincial police over issues related to policy. However, it lacks the jurisdiction to give any direction. He said that the federal government can give details regarding the cases registered by FIA but is not able to give information regarding the cases registered in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Swati's counsel Babar Awan argued that the matter is related to fundamental rights and is a "policy matter." Awan stressed that the centre can call for details regarding FIRs from the provinces.
AAG Duggal noted that the petitioner did not mention provincial home ministers as respondents. The petition has called Azam Swati's arrest 'political victimisation.' The petition called on the court to restrain the respondent authorities from handing over Azam Swati's case to the police of Sindh and Balochistan. (ANI)