Court Hands Over Swati to FIA on Two-day Physical Remand

PTI leader arrested for ‘controversial’ tweets against senior military officials again; PEMRA imposes media ban

ISLAMABAD: A local court in Islamabad on Sunday handed over Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Azam Swati to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on two-day physical remand in a case relating to ‘controversial’ tweets targeting institutions.

Judicial Magistrate’s duty judge Waqas Ahmed Raja heard the case of Swati, who was arrested earlier today, and announced the reserved decision on the FIA request for physical remand.

Advocates Babar Awan and Faisal Chaudhry appeared before the court on behalf of the former ruling party.

During the hearing, the investigation officer implored the court that there are some controversial tweets that led to the arrest of the senator, adding that a narrative is being prepared against state institutions.


He informed the court that a first information report (FIR) has been registered against the PTI leader on this issue.

“He has not denied the tweet. He has committed this offense for the second time,” the investigating officer said.

Awan stated that the tweets made do not meet the provisions of the FIR, adding that the statement taken by the police has no legal status.

“Swati’s statement of [Section] 164 was not taken into consideration. He was brutally tortured last time. He still hasn’t recovered from the torture,” he added.

The PTI advocate further told the court that the effects of physical and mental torture on Swati still remain, adding that this is not the rule of law, “it is a mockery and the murder of the law”.

The lawyer furthered that there is a threat to the senator’s life. He then told the court to take assurance from the FIA that if anything happens to Swati in their custody, they will be responsible.

“Name of FIA people present here should be put in the order sheet,” added Awan.

Swati’s arrest

Senator Swati was taken into custody for the second time early Sunday morning after a raid at his farmhouse by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Cyber ​​Crime Wing Islamabad team for allegedly tweeting against senior military officials.

An FIR against Swati was registered by the cybercrime wing on November 26, a copy of which is available with the Express Tribune, over ‘controversial’ tweets made recently allegedly against government functionaries, including the chief of the army staff (COAS).

The report maintained that the PTI leader started a “highly obnoxious campaign of intimidating tweets” against state institutions, including the army chief “with malafide intentions and ulterior motives”.

In a conversation with the FIA ​​team during the arrest, Swati said, “FIA officer Ayaz is my culprit, I don’t want to see him here” as the PTI leader had accused the official of torturing him following his previous arrest in October.


The senator also said that as soon as he delivered his speech at the party’s rally in Rawalpindi held a day earlier he came back home, adding that he was “not one to run away and was not going to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa [K-P]”.

He furthered that his party has come out in favour of the rule of law and against oppression.

In an early morning tweet, party chief Imran Khan also vowed to continue the campaign “until we establish rule of law and real freedom”.

The ousted premier on multiple occasions has decried ‘custodial torture’ on Swati and asked the chief justice of Pakistan to protect basic rights.

During his talk with the FIA officials, Swati added that he is ready to go to the police station himself because the right way was being followed during his arrest today.

Referring to his ‘custodial torture’ during the previous arrest, the senator said “torturing and undressing after the arrest is wrong”.

The senator had then left with the FIA ​​team after recording his stand and was produced in Duty Magistrate Waqas Ahmed Raja’s court.

In solidarity with the senator, senior party leaders reached the F-8 area of the capital prior to the hearing.

‘Shocked & appalled’

Former premier and PTI Chairman Imran, among other party leaders, condemned Swati’s arrest and said that he is shocked and appalled “at how rapidly we are descending into not just a banana republic but a fascist state”.

It is pertinent to note that the senator had remained in custody for almost 10 days after the initial arrest on October 13 and was granted bail on October 22 by the district and sessions court in Islamabad.

PEMRA bans Swati’s speeches

Earlier today, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued a prohibition order in reference to Senator Swati’s speech at the party’s rally yesterday.

The order stated that it: “prohibits the broadcast and re-broadcast of speech(es)/press conferences/media of Swati (as a guest in any talk show, any statement or tickers) on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect”.

The order by the regulatory authority maintained that the November 26 “speech was aired on various satellite TV channels, wherein he made aspersions against the state institutions by levelling baseless allegations. Referred speech, apparently, went on air without any editorial control and effective utilisation of [a] delay mechanism. Whereas, airing of such content is a willful violation of PEMRA’s directives issued on 28-10-2022, 09-05-2022, 16-05-2022, 09-08-2022, 29-08-2022, 31-08-2022, 02-09-2022& 05-09-2022 as well as PEMRA laws which explicitly refrain all the licensees from telecasting any content in any manner against state institutions.”


The order furthered that airing such content is in violation of Article 19 of the Constitution.

It furthered that in case of any violation observed the licence of TV channels may be suspended under Section 30 (3) of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007, without any show cause notice in the public interest along with other enabling provisions of law.

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