A Quetta court on Sunday handed over Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Azam Khan Swati’s custody to police for a five-day physical remand in the case registered against him for tweeting against senior military officers.
The PTI leader was arrested for using foul language against military officers in his tweets. Initially, the senator was arrested by the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA).
But on December 2, Balochistan police arrested him for a similar case registered against him in Quetta.
At the time of his arrest, he was already on judicial remand in Adiala Jail, following his detention for a second time in the case of a controversial tweet on November 27. He was then shifted to Quetta under a transit remand acquired by the Balochistan police
Earlier on Sunday, Swati was produced before judicial magistrate Abdul Sattar under strict security.
The police had requested a 10-day physical remand but the court only approved it for five days.
Later, PTI Balochistan President and former National Assembly deputy speaker Qasim Khan Suri confirmed that Swati was remanded in police custody for five days.
Speaking to the media after the hearing, Suri condemned the police action against the “elderly leader in extremely cold weather”.
“Is Azam Swati a foreign spy? What has he done? I think it is not good to use Balochistan in such activities,” he said.
Suri further claimed that there is “no worse example” for the restriction on freedom of expression than this.
He said that only the case for the attack on PTI Chairman Imran Khan is not being registered, but the rest of the party leadership is facing cases.
THE CASE: Swati is booked in multiple cases across the country — as stated by his lawyer during a hearing in an Islamabad court — for his controversial tweets.
He was first arrested in the case of controversial tweets on October 14, after he posted a highly-hateful and threatening message against the army chief, judiciary and other state institutions, on his official Twitter account.
The senator had secured bail in that case.
But on November 27, FIA once again arrested Swati for using abusive language against the top military brass including the former army chief.
PTI has been condemning his arrest and “torture” under custody, while Swati also approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC), fearing “custodial killing.”
His latest arrest by Balochistan police was condemned by former prime minister Imran Khan. He claimed that despite “severe chest pain and breathing issues” Swati was taken away from the hospital by Quetta police and moved to an unknown location, “endangering his life”.