• Petition says Swati has ‘reliable information and strong apprehension’ of his custodial killing
• Imran asks SC if Article 14 only applicable to powerful

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Azam Swati on Monday moved a petition before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against shifting him outside the jurisdiction of the federal capital in view of the multiple cases filed against him, as party chief Imran Khan assailed the Supreme Court for turning a blind eye to the senator’s plight.

The petition, moved through Babar Awan, also requested the court to direct the interior secretary, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director general (DG), inspectors general of Sindh and Balochistan to “adhere to the lego-constitutional and fundamental rights of the petitioner”.

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq will hear the petition on Tuesday (today).

It also requested the court to restrain the res­p­­ondent authorities from handi­ng over Swati to the Sindh or Balochistan pol­ice until the record is produced before the court.

The petition termed Mr Swati’s arrest “political victimisation”. It said the PTI senator was already on bail in an identical matter. He was taken into custody on Oct 21 and subjected to brutal custodial torture as well as disgraced by being stripped in custody, it alleged.

The petition further said Mr Swati had “reliable information and strong apprehension of his custodial killing.

A day earlier, chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior, Mohsin Aziz, had summoned the FIA director general for Monday to brief the committee about the cause of Mr Swati’s arrest.

However, the committee members were told on Monday that Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani had amen­ded the agenda of the meeting and excluded the discussion on the arrest.

The committee chairman said Mr Sanjrani had in his letter stated that Azam Swati was on physical remand. The committee decided to defer the discussion on his arrest. It however grilled the FIA DG over the previous arrest and alleged custodial torture on Swati.

Meanwhile, PTI Chairman Imran Khan lamented that Senator Swati had been seeking justice from the apex court for weeks, but to no avail, and questioned if Article 14 of the Constitution was only applicable to “the powerful”.

In a tweet, Mr Khan asked SC judges whether this provision is only applicable to the powerful.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2022

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