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RAWALPINDI: Adiala jail authorities have limited the movement of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif after some prisoners started chanting slogans against him as he was out for a stroll in the courtyard of his barrack early in the morning.

Sharif will now also not be allowed to pray in the mosque.

According to sources, the jail authorities are considering moving Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz to Safwat Lodge, commonly referred to as Sihala Rest House, located on the premises of Sihala Police College.

“A bomb disposal squad visited Sihala Police College Wednesday night to comb the premises to ensure there are no explosives in case the former premier and his daughter are moved to Sihala,” a senior security official said.

He said it may be unsafe for the three-time prime minister to remain in the jail due to the presence of high profile prisoners convicted in terrorism cases, even though security for him and his daughter has been beefed up.

A senior police official said security outside Adiala jail has also been tightened due to the large number of people coming to meet their loved ones in jail and the gathering of PML-N workers and leaders attempting to meet Sharif and Maryam.

Safwat Lodge has been cleaned and decorated with flowers, paintings and photographs. A double bed, two chairs and a table will also be provided to the prisoners.

This is the same lodge where former president and PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari had been detained when his party’s government was dismissed in 1996. Other political leaders have also been detained in the rest house in the past.

On July 13, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration had already declared the rest house a sub-jail for detaining the Sharifs who were arrested by the National Accountability Bureau when they reached Lahore. However, they were taken to Adiala jail instead.

After the notification was issued by the ICT administration and the commandant of Police College Sihala was contacted to seek charge of the rest house on Friday, the rest house was cleaned and prepared for the former prime minister.

Published in Dawn, July 19th, 2018