Pak opposition leader arrested for tweet against army chief

Wednesday 19th October 2022 06:19 EDT

Islamabad: Azam Swati, a senior legislator from former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for a “highly obnoxious and intimidating” tweet against the chief of the country’s powerful military, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Swati’s lawyer Babar Awan alleged his client’s house was raided late at night without a search warrant. “He was blindfolded and treated like a terrorist,” said, adding that the country had become “fascist”.

Swati’s tweet was in response to a court in the city of Lahore acquitting incumbent Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz in a money laundering case.

In his post, the 66-year-old senator addressed Bajwa, congratulating him for his “plan” working and saying “criminals” were going free. “Mr Bajwa congratulations to you and few with you. Your plan is really working, and all criminals are getting free at cost of this country. With these thugs getting free, you have legitimise (sic) corruption. How you predict now the future of this country?” he posted.

The FIA, which arrested Swati under a cybercrime law, in its first information report (FIR) said his tweet was a “calculated attempt” to sow “hatred in mind of people and army personnel against the Army Chief and Pakistan army”.

“Such intimidating tweets of blaming and naming is a mischievous act of subversion to create a rift between personnel of the armed forces and an attempt to harm the state of Pakistan,” the FIR said.

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