Punjab Information Minister Ahmed Waqas Riaz on Wednesday said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is being provided all the facilities that he is entitled to while serving his 10-year sentence in Adiala jail, Rawalpindi.
The ousted prime minister was shifted to the jail on July 13 and was assigned the 'Better Class' category of the prison the next day, July 14, Riaz told a press conference.
He said Maryam Nawaz, too, is being provided adequate facilities in the women's jail.
The caretaker government's clarification came in apparent response to a letter written to the government by PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif two days ago seeking better facilities for Nawaz.
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In his letter to Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk and Punjab caretaker Chief Minister Hasan Askari Rizvi, Shahbaz had drawn their attention to what he called the "abysmal conditions" in which Nawaz was being kept 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,” the former Punjab chief minister had written.
However, a handout released by deputy inspector general (DIG) Prisons Malik Mubashir today appeared to contradict the situation.
According to the statement, Nawaz was provided Better Class facilities by the Punjab government on July 14 after the former premier submitted an application to this effect and due to his entitlement as a former member of the National Assembly. Being a Better Class prisoner, Nawaz has been provided with the following facilities:
- The option to obtain his personal clothes, bed, mattress, shoes, table, chair, a 21-inch television, radio, toiletries, newspapers and other similar items at his own expense
- He has been jailed in a separate cell in a Better Class portion of the jail
- In his room, he has been issued a steel bed, table, chair, newspapers, sheets for his personal bed, personal clothes, one ceiling fan, two bracket fans and toiletries. He has also been allowed to keep a 21-inch TV.
- He has been provided adequate space to take a walk and he "regularly goes for a stroll in the lawn attached to his cell".
- The jail's medical staff and Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC) consultants regularly conduct his medical check-up and his health is "satisfactory"
- A specialised cook has been providing the diet recommended for him by an RIC nutritionist
- The recommended diet that he is provided includes fruits, salad, dates and qeema (minced meat)
- His family members and friends can meet him on Thursdays, if he so desires, while his lawyers can meet him on any one day of the week
According to the DIG prisons, Nawaz's family members, lawyers and family doctor met him on July 14, while he has also met his daughter Maryam and son-in-law retired Capt Mohammad Safdar within the jail.
Minister Riaz meanwhile emphasised that nobody could run a political campaign from the jail and those violating the prison rules will be proceeded against strictly.