LAHORE: PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif on Monday wrote a letter to the government seeking better facilities for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi.

In a letter to caretaker prime minister retired Justice Nasirul Mulk and Punjab caretaker chief minister Hasan Askari Rizvi drawing their attention to the ‘abysmal conditions’ under which Nawaz Sharif is languishing in Adiala Jail.

“During my visit and meeting along with other family members I found Nawaz Sharif in a pathetic prison environment which is highly detrimental to his health and well-being. He was not even given newspaper to read, his bed was a mattress on the floor and washroom was not clean and there was no air conditioner in the room. No attendant was there and the medical check-up facility was also not up to the mark.”

He further said: “Nawaz Sharif, a heart and diabetic patient, needs timely medicine and frequent visits to a doctor. His personal doctor who knows his medical condition well should be allowed to visit him twice a day.”

Shahbaz Sharif regretted that Nawaz Sharif, a three-time prime minister, was being treated in such a “shabby manner”.”This situation is unacceptable given the minimum facilities he is entitled to as a former premier. He must be provided with the aforementioned basic facilities at the earliest,” Shahbaz said.

Earlier, the Punjab home department had notified “Better Class” category in Adiala jail for the former prime minister and retired Capt Safdar on their formal requests, while Maryam refused to apply for it.

The department had notified ‘better class’, generally known as B-Class, for the former premier. The category entailed facilities of a mattress, small table and chair, ceiling fan, 21-inch TV and a newspaper.

Retired Capt Safdar who is also serving the jail term along with his wife and father-in-law in the Avenfield properties case got ‘better class’.

Both Nawaz Sharif and Safdar had applied for the better class. However, Maryam Nawaz had refused to apply for it. In her signed letter, she said: “I was offered to apply for better class facilities by the superintendent of the jail, as per the rules that I refused of my own will. This is purely my own decision, taken without any pressure from anyone.”

Meanwhile, Shahbaz Sharif has urged the people to free Nawaz from jail through the power of the ballot on July 25.

In meetings on Ferozepur Road, Yuhanabad, Gajomata and Kahna – the areas of his constituency NA-132 – he said the people’s court would free Mr Sharif (from jail) through their vote. He said his elder brother was not even given a bed to sleep in the jail. He said Nawaz had made this country atomic power and what treatment was being meted out to him. He said July 13 rally was historic and he had witnessed people’s passion and love for Nawaz.

Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2018