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RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and former MNA Hanif Abbasi has been shifted from Adiala jail to Attock prison after a controversy over the release of photographs in which he is seen with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and others in the office of Jail Superintendent Saeedullah Gondal prior to Mr Sharif’s release.

Mr Abbasi was shifted to Attock prison on Saturday morning amid tight security on the orders of Inspector General of Punjab Prisons Shahid Saleem Baig reportedly on the findings of a two-member committee that investigated the matter.

Mr Abbasi has been sentenced to life imprisonment in the ephedrine smuggling case.

Meanwhile, Mehnaz Abbasi, wife of Mr Abbasi, has termed the decision of her husband’s shifting to Attock political victimisation, saying he was a heart patient and under treatment at the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC). She claimed that Mr Abbasi had been shifted to Attock without consulting his doctors.

Talking to Dawn, Mehnaz Abbasi said that Mr Abbasi had undergone angioplasty at the RIC after Eidul Azha, adding that before shifting him to Attock jail the provincial government should consult his doctors. She asked who would be responsible if his condition deteriorated as he was a cardiac patient.

IG Baig has constituted a special inspection team, tasking it to visit the jail and probe the matter. The committee members include Deputy Inspector General of Prisons, Multan Region, Malik Shaukat and Additional Inspector General Judicial Malik Safdar.

The two-member team will investigate how the photographs of Mr Sharif, PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif and others were taken in the office of the Adiala jail’s superintendent prior to release of Mr Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Capt Muhammad Safdar.

The committee will probe as to how the visitors managed to bring a camera or phone into the superintendent’s office despite a ban on bringing such items inside the jail.

A special team launched a search operation in Adiala jail on the orders of IG Baig. The team members obtained CCTV footage and grilled the staffers on duty. The final inquiry report would be sent to IG Baig probably on Monday, sources said.

In a statement, Superintendent Gondal told media that a detailed search operation was launched by a team but no contraband things/articles were recovered from any prisoner or area of the jail.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2018