SC’s ‘human rights cell’ probing Swati’s matter

The Supreme Court on Monday said its human rights cell was looking into the objectionable video involving Senator Azam Swati and his wife.

During the hearing of a contempt plea against PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial remarked that the cell had taken up the PTI senator’s matter, elaborating that the top court would intervene if required.

On Saturday, Swati burst into tears before the media, saying that his wife had received a video featuring him and her and about which he could not share further details because the “daughters of my country are listening”. The senator had blamed the interior minister and two military officers for conspiring against him and said they should be held accountable if something happened to him.

He had said that his daughter had told him that the video was from when Swati and his wife had visited Quetta. Recalling that visit, the senator said Senate Chairperson Sadiq Sanjrani had made arrangements for them to stay at the Supreme Court’s judicial lodges in Quetta.

Swati told the apex court that the site was not the SC rest house but was from his stay at the federal lodges in Quetta.

In a rebuttal issued on Sunday, the SC said that Swati had “never used/stayed in Supreme Court Judges Rest House at Quetta”.

“But you never stayed at the Supreme Court’s rest house,” the top judge added. “Your request is being reviewed and the matter will be dealt with according to the law.”

Meanwhile, Swati said that he could only show the video to the apex court’s judges.
To this the chief justice said: “Swati sahab, may God give you patience […] we are instructing Pemra (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) and the PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) to remove the alleged video.”

The senator, however, contended that it was possible that the video which was circulating online was not the same as the video sent to him.

“For now, let the HR Cell see the matter […] let it mature until the material comes […],” Justice Bandial said, urging Swati to stay strong. “We don’t know how many enemies you have and who are they.
“The truth will only come out after investigation. Today, it has become very difficult to find the truth. The truth is hidden beneath many layers of lies,” the chief justice added.

Separately, Justice Bandial also said that the court had initiated proceedings on the application filed by the mother of journalist Arshad Sharif — who was killed in Kenya last month.

“We are summoning a report from the committee that had gone to Kenya for an investigation,” he stated.
In a letter to the SC last week, Sharif’s mother requested the CJP to set up a judicial commission comprising senior Supreme Court judges to determine the real motive and identify criminals behind her son’s killing.

“Only knowing the real motive and criminals and bringing them to justice will end the agony of Shaheed Arshad Sharif’s family and his journalist fraternity,” stated Sharif’s mother, Riffat Ara Alvi, in the two-page letter.

“Otherwise, I will rest my case to Allah awaiting His justice,” she said, also expressing confidence that her letter would receive due attention given the gravity of the case and not ignored like her son’s earlier letter he wrote to the authorities informing about the threats to his life.

On Oct 31, the government appointed retired judge Abdul Shakoor Paracha as the chairman of a three-member inquiry commission to probe into the mysterious murder of senior journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya on Oct 23.

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