Senator Azam Swati lifts lid on who assaulted him, political role of state institution

Nearly two weeks after he was first arrested and faced alleged custodial torture for posting messages on social media critical of the country’s powerful military, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Azam Swati on Friday lifted the lid on who had allegedly assaulted him in custody and offered a peek into the power corridor practices by some of the country’s most powerful institutions.

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Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, the PTI senator reiterated that he had been stripped naked and beaten up while in custody.

“I was beaten up in front of his innocent granddaughters and that trauma will stay with them forever.”

He took the names of two senior officers, claiming that they were involved in beating him up.

Swati went on to demand that two senior officers should be removed from their posts immediately for torturing a senior parliamentarian.

Claiming that his pleas were ignored and trivialized, adding that the doctors who examined him should be asked at whose behest the torture marks on his body were ignored.

“How did they not see this violence even after 15 days and how did I continue to be handed over to them on physical remand?”

Swati stated that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), who had arrested him, will have to answer at whose behest an FIR was lodged against him.

He also asked who were the unidentified people to whom he was handed over?

Calling on the Chief Justice of Pakistan, he said that he had taken his case to the Supreme Court along with his fellow senators and journalists and provided evidence; further saying that he was waiting for justice as any ordinary Pakistani.

He demanded the CJP provide him with justice as a basic right should be made available.

Azam Swati said that he has high hopes that the court will investigate the illegal behavior of the authorities against him, including custodial torture.

Citing the preamble of the constitution, he said that true authority lies with Allah and then the people of Pakistan who will use that right. He said that no military officer can use that authority.

Earlier at the start of the press conference, he said that he would not speak to recent political issues, including the press conference by the director generals of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Public Relations (ISPR) where they stated the army would not have any role in politics.

Maintaining that he did not wish to malign the military rather provide constructive criticism on what needs to be corrected, he stated that security institutions should not have a political role and all such practices which used to be carried out, must be left in the past.

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