Sindh police take Swati into custody from Quetta

Azam Swati

PTI Senator Azam Swati was handed over to the Sindh police in Quetta on Friday, his lawyer said, hours after the Balochistan High Court directed the police to quash all five first information reports registered against him in the province over his controversial tweets against top military officials and release him if he was not booked in any other cases.

PTI leaders lashed out at the news with the party’s provincial president Qasim Suri saying the party was in the process of quashing the remaining FIRs against Swati after the BHC order when the Sindh police “abducted him in their special plane and took him to an unknown location”.

PTI Vice President Fawad Chaudhry also claimed that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s plane went to Quetta to collect Swati and the senator was arrested on the same charges the BHC had quashed.

Chaudhry claimed Swati was brought to Larkana and then moved to Qambar Shahdadkot.

“These are the human rights of a senior politician and senator of Pakistan.” PTI Secretary General Asad Umar said: “The law is being buried every day.”

Earlier in the day, Justice Muhammad Hashim Khan Kakar resumed hearing on Friday on Osman’s plea and reprimanded the police for registering multiple cases against Swati.

“Does the Balochistan IG (inspector general of police) know about the registration of these five cases?” he questioned. Police informed the judge that the IG did not know about the FIRs.

Following that, Justice Kakar observed that further extension in Swati’s remand was not required and asked, “On what basis was his first remand approved?”

When police reiterated the judge’s observation that Swati remand was not needed any longer, Justice Kakar remarked: “Why do police take steps because of which they and the court have to hide their faces?”

He then directed police to quash all FIRs registered against the senator in the province and release him if he was not booked in any other cases.

Swati was not presented before the court, but Advocate General Asif Reki, Senior Superintendent of Police (Investigation) Asad Nasir and Swati’s son, Osman, attended the hearing.