Azam Swati taken into custody by Sindh police

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LARKANA: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Azam Swati, who was taken into custody by the Sindh police in Quetta a day earlier, was shifted to Qambar Shahdadkot in connection with two FIRs registered against him in the district, while the Capital Develop­ment Authority (CDA) in Islamabad sealed his Chak Shahzad farmhouse over “violations” of building bylaws.

Sindh police confirmed that they had taken Senator Swati into custody, and Qambar Shahdadkot SSP Sadam Hussain Khaskheli told Dawn that Mr Swati “wished to be moved to Qambar in a plane” that landed at Sukkur from Quetta and the senator was subsequently taken to Qambar by road.

The police officer did not say in which court the PTI leader would be produced for remand, saying it was yet to be decided as there were two cases registered against him at Nasirabad and Warah police stations in the district. The FIR at the Nasirabad police station was registered on a complaint of Zameer Hussain Khoso under Sections 131, 153 A, 504, 505 of the Pakistan Penal Code. The complainants in the FIRs are different, but the sections are almost identical.

In addition to these two cases registered in Qambar Shahdadkot, the PTI leader is also booked in similar cases at Saddar police station in Jacobabad, Usman Essani police station in Shikarpur, and Civil Lines police station in Larkana.

According to the civic body, the operation which resulted in the sealing of the PTI senator’s farmhouse was carried out in the agrofarm scheme in Chak Shahzad where the owners had committed building rules’ violations. It cited an “increase in permissible covered area and constructions in setbacks” as reasons for the closure of the Swati-owned property.

In an official statement, the CDA stated that the four plots, having numbers 34, 35, 13, and 71, of Orchard Scheme were sealed due to encroachments. The civic body added, “Steel shed in setbacks and guard room outside plot line of Plot 71 [Swati’s property] were also removed.”

The CDA said notices in this regard were previously issued on Jan 13, 2016, and Nov 6, 2018. It added observations were issued on Nov 29, 2018, whereas a show-cause notice was given on Nov 4, 2022. However, the final show-cause notice was given on Nov 16, 2022, it added.

“Further the owners took a stay order against CDA which was duly contested in a court of law and the stay order was vacated by the court. After fulfilling all codal formalities and after providing ample opportunity to comply with [building] bylaws, this operation was carried out.

Moreover, the civic body said notices are issued to 70 agro farms and after the expiry of legal time, if violations still persist, these will also be dealt with as per law. A CDA official claimed that there was a basement that was not included in the building plan.

PTI Senior Vice President Dr Shireen Mazari said that CDA and ICT police raided Mr Swati’s house and sealed it after partially demolishing the property. “Such vengeful behaviour against a member of Senate simply over some intemperate words and continuous torture on him doesn’t seem to have satisfied hunger for revenge,” she added.

Meanwhile, the CDA rejected the impression that the operation targeted a “certain individual” as it received flak for action against Senator Swati.

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