Azam Swati names military officials behind ‘custodial torture’


ISLAMABAD: PTI leader Azam Swati on Friday held two military officials responsible for his custodial torture and called for them to be removed from their posts.

Swati, who was arrested earlier this month in a case registered against him over a controversial tweet thought to be against the armed forces, made the remarks at a press conference in Islamabad ahead of the PTI’s long march.

Since his arrest, Swati has alleged he was stripped and tortured. Last week, PTI Chairman Imran Khan decried Swati’s “custodial torture” in a press conference alongside him. The Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights also condemned it.

During his presser today, the PTI leader alleged a “major general” and a “sector commander” were the “two culprits” behind his abuse and custodial torture. He did not reveal their full names in his presser.

He revealed the names with the “expectation” from the nation, courts, president and parliament members that a proper investigation would be conducted and the officials would be “removed from their positions.”

Swati referred to “a few individuals of the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence)” as the “masters of the black and white of this country, as no institution is safe from the blackmailing of those people”.

He also demanded “the infamous ISI political wing be buried” as it was responsible for the country’s “insult and notoriety” rather than being the army’s flag carrier.

At the same time, the PTI leader acknowledged the professional expertise of the ISI and appreciated soldiers and generals, calling Pakistan “a living body whose soul is its people and the ISI.”

He insisted that he was “not insulting the brave army, but correcting them”, which was permissible under the Constitution.

During the press conference, he also showed the torture marks present on his hands “15 days after the incident”.

According to him, the speech for the conference was written by Swati himself as per the advice of his lawyers — something the politician revealed he almost never does.

He further said that he had presented his case to the Supreme Court a few days ago in the presence of his lawyers and the journalist community.