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SC says Senator Azam Swati should resign

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News Analysis |

The Supreme Court on Friday, 2nd November, said that the Minister for Science and Technology Senator Azam Swati should resign from his position as he could be charged under Article 62 for misuse of authority. “We will also examine Article 62(1)(f) in this matter,” said the chief justice and added that authority should not be misused by lawmakers.

The apex court also said that a JIT should be formed to probe the matter which may include NAB and FIA officials. Azam Swati presented himself before the top court in a suo moto hearing pertaining to the transfer of Islamabad’s Police Chief, IG Jan Muhammad. Azam Swati had been under public fire for allegedly taking a feud up to the IG and then “having him transferred” by the Prime Minister for non-compliance.

The media rhetoric against the Senator has created a lot of confusion and misquotation of facts in this case.

According to the mainstream media rhetoric, Swati’s son had registered a case against slum dwellers who he claimed were trespassing on his family’s land and getting into altercations with their staff. The accused were arrested and sent to Adiala jail. It was in relation to this dispute that Swati had allegedly tried to contact IG Jan Muhammad who had not picked up his calls.

GVS published the other side of the story. IGP Islamabad, Jan Mohammad, a Grade -20 Officer, appointed by the caretaker government before the general elections was abruptly transferred out, by the federal government, and his services were placed at the disposal of Establishment Division on Sunday, the 28th of October.

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Media reports created the impression that IGP was transferred out on the wishes of the son of a minister or instructions of a minister. (Azam Swati). Supreme Court of Pakistan took notice of this development and later suspended the notification till federal government explains its actions.

In light of the circumstances of his transfer and its subsequent withdrawal, the IGP said he no longer wished to continue at the position and the CJP withdrew the suspension of his transfer. GVS was able to talk to several sources, in the police, the administration and the government familiar with the development – and a totally different picture emerges.

The accused were arrested and sent to Adiala jail. It was in relation to this dispute that Swati had allegedly tried to contact IG Jan Muhammad who had not picked up his calls.

According to these sources, Senator Azam Swati, who has a farmhouse in Orchard Scheme, near Chak Shehzad, requested police protection in the morning of Thursday, Oct 25th. Swati called the relevant DSP, Syed Mohammad Ashraf, around 10.30am informing him that his family and servants are getting threats from certain illegal residents in the area and requested police protection at his farmhouse.

DSP informed him to call a senior officer. Senator then called a senior officer, of the rank of a SSP, who informed him that given new government’s policy on such matters police needs to get a written request or application for taking action.

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Senator who had to attend a cabinet meeting starting at 11.30am then ordered his office to send a written request to IGP Islamabad, Jan Mohammad. This request informing of feared potential violence and request for police protection was first faxed to IGP Office before 5 pm (Fax No: 051-9259390) and later sent physically by a bearer.

The media rhetoric against the Senator has created a lot of confusion and misquotation of facts in this case. There is a heavy criticism on the government for going against its own slogan of de-politicizing the police. The pertinent question is: Is the government going to hold out on due action against otherwise incapable bureaucrats merely to save face?

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