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EditorialSurveillance of Senator Swati

Surveillance of Senator Swati

The claims made by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Senator Azam Swati about filming and later sharing his private stuff with his wife are serious and should be investigated. At a press conference, the elderly senator went into tears because his wife had received a tape starring him and her, and he couldn’t disclose any further details because “the daughters of my country are listening”. Senator Swati has launched a rhetorical assault on sensitive security institutions virtually daily since his incarceration on October 13 following his strongly worded Tweet, and his subsequent release. First, he claimed that he was stripped naked and abused throughout his confinement. Later, he accused officials from a sensitive agency of being behind his arrest. Senator alluded to an earlier media interview in which he stated that he had not committed any corruption and that no one, including “powerful circles,” had any “immoral movies” showing him. The video, on the other hand, proved him wrong, he claimed, adding that powerful circles gave her a video of him from an unknown number.

The fact that the footage was shot at the Supreme Court’s judicial lodges in Quetta, where the senior senator lived with his wife in October, adds to the gravity of the situation. The Senator’s family has been compelled to flee the country as a result of the incident. What occurred to Azam Swati in the Supreme Court Lodges is an egregious violation of all moral and legal standards. It is shocking, nasty, and completely condemnable. This should never happen to a human being. It is the responsibility of the governmental authorities to investigate the subject and reach a logical decision on the surveillance regime. Pakistan appears to have become a surveillance state in recent years, with phone calls being recorded and afterwards posted on social media. Senator Swati’s charges should be investigated by the Federal Investigation Agency, the state agency in charge of such affairs.

If the senator’s news conference goes unsolved, it will be an insult to the entire parliament. Every democratic and human rights fighter should watch the video statement. The Ministry of Interior should launch a high-level investigation into the blatant infringement of privacy, inform the public, and punish the guilty. The Supreme Court should also take note of the surveillance of the judicial guest house where respected judges stay. According to Senator Swati’s report, the Supreme Court’s guesthouses are entirely covered by hidden cameras, and private footage was recorded at the Prime Minister’s Office as well as of SC judges.

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