Pakistani Senator Urges Gen Bajwa, Chief Justice to Investigate His 'Custodial Torture'

A Pakistani senator belonging to former prime minister Imran Khan’s party on Tuesday described his “custodial torture” in detail as he urged the army chief and the chief justice to investigate the incident to protect citizens from such an ordeal in the future.

Senator Azam Khan Swati was arrested last month by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) after an anti-army tweet by him. He was later released on bail but he alleged that he was tortured while in custody and also stripped.

Addressing a press conference, the senator not only repeated allegations against the two military officials for their alleged involvement in the incident but also named an FIA official.

Waving a copy of the Constitution, he said that “this rulebook is not applicable to at least 1,000 people”.

While talking about the retirement of Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa later this month, he said: “You have 27 days left at GHQ, you must follow the Constitution and summon Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Cybercrime assistant director Ayaz…” He added that the FIA official was driving the vehicle that took him to an unknown place and witnessed the torture.

“They kept beating me the entire way and one of the men was filming the entire ordeal as I screamed,” he said, adding that it must be investigated who was “cracking jokes” as he was being stripped naked.

“I would not care even if they would have killed me but they violated my privacy and I will knock on the door of all international institutions. If a senator is not protected, no citizen is safe in this country,” he said.

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Addressing Gen Bajwa, Swati swore that he was speaking the truth. “This 74-year-old senator is not becoming a source of shame for you. I am a living corpse and fighting for my fundamental rights,” he said.

He also asked the Supreme Court to take the CCTV footage from his house into custody and order a forensic audit to determine the veracity of his claims.

He also thanked the Chief Justice for referring his case to the court’s Human Rights Cell but demanded that justice should be done.

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