PTI chairman Imran Khan claimed on Friday that incarcerated party Senator Azam Swati — who was arrested earlier this week in a case pertaining to controversial tweets against the military — has been “taken away by the Quetta police” from Islamabad.

“Swati was moved to Pims (Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences) early morning [today] after suffering severe chest pains and breathing issues,” the former premier said in a tweet.

“While test results were awaited, Quetta police got him discharged and took him away endangering his life,” he claimed.

Dawn.com reached out to the Quetta police but it has not confirmed the transfer yet.

On November 27, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested Swati — for the second time in less than two months — over a “highly obnoxious campaign of intimidating tweets […] against state institutions”.

Separate first information reports (FIRs) were registered against the PTI leader in Balochistan and Sindh as well for using “derogatory language” and “provoking the people against the army”. Following the arrest, the Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority (Pemra) prohibited media coverage of Swati on all satellite TV channels.

On Thursday, an Islamabad court sent the senator on 14-day judicial remand.

Previously, Swati had 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.

It had 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.

In his tweets today, Imran said the “vengeful manner” in which Swati was being treated was “shocking and condemnable”.

“Equally outrageous is what is being considered such a great crime would in the entire civilised world be considered his democratic right to criticise,” he said, demanding the senator’s immediate release.

“Sad to see our justice system unwilling to stop repeated violations of Swati’s basic human rights,” the PTI chief added.

Meanwhile, PTI leader Asad Umar said Swati was “handed over” to Balochistan police and taken to Quetta without waiting for medical reports from the hospital or waiting for the high court’s decision.

“Shameful how the imported government is flouting fundamental rights and refusing to follow due process of law,” he added.

IHC reserves verdict on Swati’s plea seeking details of FIRs

Earlier today, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) reserved its verdict on a plea filed by Swati seeking details of the FIRs registered against him.

During the hearing today, presided by Chief Justice Umer Farooq, Additional Attorney General (AAG) Munawar Duggal said that after the 18th Amendment, the federal government did not have the authority to direct the provincial inspector generals.

“We cannot provide details of how many cases are registered against Azam Swati in the provinces,” he said.

Here, the court inquired if the federal government has no administrative control. “Coordination with the police can be maintained in policy-related matters,” Duggal replied.

Meanwhile, Swati’s counsel Advocate Babar Awan argued that all basic rights were policy matters and that the Centre could obtain this information from the provinces.

“If this is the case then we won’t be able to hold press conferences or write letters in the future,” he pointed out. “How can the federal government say it is powerless beyond Faizabad or Attock?”

Awan stressed that the PTI senator was a heart patient. “We are only asking about the number of FIRs registered [against Swati] so that he can appear before the court.

“Please let us know about the FIRs so that we can apply for bail,” the lawyer requested.

Subsequently, the court reserved its verdict on the plea, promising that it would issue an “appropriate order”.

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