LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is serving a seven-year sentence in the Al Azizia Steel Mills case, has complained about 'poor' facilities in the jail.
He said there was no TV set in his cell and the heater was malfunctioning. Only one newspaper was being given to him.
“However, I am in good health,” Mr Sharif was quoted as having said by a PML-N leader who met him in Kot Lakhpat jail on Thursday.
A couple of days ago Mr Sharif had complained about flu and fever, requesting a meeting with his physician.
Mr Sharif’s mother, daughter Maryam, nephew Hamza Shahbaz and PML-N leaders Mushahidullah Khan, Khwaja Asif, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Rana Sanaullah were among the visitors.
Nawaz Sharif denied that he had sought an NRO-like (National Reconciliation Ordinance) pardon from anyone.
“Those claiming that I have sought NRO should better shed light on it,” Mr Sharif was quoted as having said.
The ousted premier expressed surprise over reports that he was looking for an `NRO’.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and some members of his cabinet have said more than once that opposition leaders, especially the Sharif family, were trying to secure `NRO’. The opposition has rebutted the claim.
A large number of PML-N workers gathered outside the Kot Lakhpat jail and chanted slogans in favour of their leadership. A couple of them were in chains to express solidarity with Nawaz Sharif.
Maryam Nawaz had brought lunch for her father.
Talking to reporters outside the jail, Senator Mushahidullah said Nawaz Sharif was the biggest stakeholder in the country’s politics. He said Mr Sharif was being punished for not bowing down. “Some elements are happy to see Mr Sharif in jail.”
He alleged that Shaukat Khanum Hospital’s money had been transferred to the accounts of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sisters in Dubai. “The prime minister will have to account for this.”
Rana Sanaullah expressed the hope that Mr Sharif would get relief from the high court as the prosecution had been unable to bring forth any evidence of corruption against him. “Nawaz Sharif is facing politics of revenge,” he claimed.
He said those who had “installed the PTI government through rigged polls” should now admit their mistake and take corrective measures. “If the present economic conditions persist for another three months, businesses will be forced to pack up,” he warned.
Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2019