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Wednesday February 08, 2023

Quetta court approves five-day physical remand of Azam Swati

PTI Senator Azam Khan Swati is facing separate cases of libel for using foul language against military officers in his tweets

December 04, 2022

QUETTA: A local court in Quetta on Sunday handed over Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Azam Khan Swati to police for a five-day physical remand in a controversial tweet case.

The PTI leader is facing charges of libel for using foul language against military officers in his tweets. 

He was presented before Judicial Magistrate Abdul Sattar under strict security on Sunday morning. During the hearing, the police 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 handed over to police for a five-day physical remand.

'Not good to use Balochistan police in such activities': Suri

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 police 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 attack on PTI Chairman Imran Khan is not being registered, but the rest of party leadership is facing cases.

Controversial tweets cases

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.

Initially, the senator was arrested by the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA), 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.

On December 2, Balochistan police arrested Swati 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 a controversial tweets case on November 27. He was then shifted to Quetta under a transit remand acquired by the Balochistan police

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 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”.