Saturday April 01, 2023

FIA arrests Azam Swati over controversial tweets

The FIA filed the criminal complaint with its Cyber Circle

October 14, 2022
Former federal minister Azam Swati. —Screengrab
Former federal minister Azam Swati. —Screengrab

ISLAMABAD: The Cybercrime Circle of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested PTI Senator Azam Khan Swati in the wee hours of Thursday for allegedly tweeting a highly-hateful and threatening message against the army chief, judiciary and other state institutions.

The FIA filed the criminal complaint with its Cyber Circle. The accused was handed over to the FIA on a two-day physical remand. A team is interrogating him.

Talking to the media outside the court, Swati alleged that he was tortured. “A parliamentarian has been unclothed. I am telling the nation what happened to me,” he alleged.

The FIR lodged under Sections 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 read with 131, 500, 501, 505 and 109 PPC by Cyber Crime Reporting Centre of FIA (a copy of which is available with The News), says Swati tweeted with “malafide intentions & ulterior motives” against the “State Institutions of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and its senior government functionaries including Chief of the Army Staff of Pakistan Army”.

“Intimidating tweet/s of blaming and naming through Twitter account i.e., @AzamKhanSwatiPK, is a mischievous act of subversion to create a rift among the personnel/s of the armed forces and an attempt to harm the state of Pakistan,” says the FIR.

In the tweet, the criminal complaint says, the accused “undermined the judicial system of the country and also attempted to seduce army personnel from their adherence to their duties as subordinates”.

“This is a calculated attempt to create hatred in the minds of people and army personnel/s towards the COAS and Pakistan Army and also create distrust towards the judicial system. In such intimidating tweet/s, the accused Muhammad Azam Khan Swati has attempted to provoke the general public and the personnel of armed forces by trying to create a feeling of ill-will among pillars of the state.”

“Swati violated the seclusion and frightened the state institutions, by using false information, which is likely to incite, any officer, soldier, sailor, or airman in the army, navy or air force of Pakistan to mutiny or otherwise disregard or fail in his duty as such and is also likely to cause fear or alarm in the public and may induce/incite anyone to commit an offence against the state or the state institution/s or public tranquillity”.

Meanwhile, a four-member medical board of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) Thursday issued a report after examining Azam Swati and declared him medically fit.

“Swati is taking medicines for his heart condition. He has also undergone ultrasound, X-rays and electrocardiogram (ECG), while during the checkup, his blood pressure and heart rate were normal,” the report said. The PTI leader underwent angiography in 2016 and a local court had ordered his medical examination.