PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday decried the "custodial torture" of party leader and Senator Azam Swati who was recently arrested over a controversial tweet thought to be against the armed forces.
Imran was addressing a press conference in Islamabad alongside Swati who was granted post-arrest bail a day earlier. During his media talk, the PTI chief railed against the coalition government and the treatment being meted out to its political opponents.
Giving the example of Shahbaz Gill, Imran alleged that the ex-adviser to the PM was tortured, stripped naked and sexually assaulted. "He is a professor, not a criminal."
He also vowed to approach every forum over the "custodial torture" of Swati. "I am upset that they did not take action."
He questioned the law under which this action was taken. "He was beaten in front of his grandchildren," he stated, adding that Swati was later "handed over" where he was beaten after being stripped naked.
He asserted that by "insulting and scaring" citizens, state institutions were only flaming the fans of hatred against them. Imran also termed the country a "banana republic".
He alleged that there were "unnamed people" who everyone was scared of because if anyone makes a social media post against them, they are "picked up and beaten".
"These people are not benefitting our country in any way. They are destroying it."
Talking about the long-awaited long march, Imran said that he would announce the date next week. “I will announce the date of the long march on either Thursday or Friday".
"We are the specialist of marches. We have experience,” he quipped, stating that the long march would be historic.
He further stated that the march would be peaceful. "In my party's 26-year history, we have done everything peacefully. Families will also participate. We will not let any violence take place."
Swati calls on SC to take suo motu notice
Meanwhile, Swati described the alleged torture he was subjected to while in police custody. He warned that if the Supreme Court and Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial did not take suo motu notice, then the "flames may one day reach your doorstep".
"A sitting senator [...] if the Supreme Court does not take suo motu notice [...] I want to give a message to the chief justice: beware these flames reaching your doorsteps and the clothes being torn off a judge."
He further added that his granddaughters had suffered "emotional trauma" as a result of seeing him "stripped naked and beaten" in front of them.
“If one cannot get justice from this country’s institutions, then close them,” he said as he expressed his disappointment in the justice system.
The senator went on to say that he would take this matter up with Supreme Court. "We will [approach the SC] so that next time a parliamentarian, judge will not be stripped naked and humiliated."