Could someone please tell me if the Jail Manual remains applicable to a premises declared as sub-jail? If yes, which I am sure it does, then how come such a royal treatment is meted out to high profile political prisoners, including unlimited number of visitors (‘mulaqatees’) calling upon them daily? Aren’t there any fixed days of a week for visitation, and isn’t there any time duration limit for such visits? Is there any written permission required for the visit? And in case where a hospital has been declared Sub-Jail, who grants such permission - the SMO hospital or the jailer?

The same is the case with meals from home for the prisoner. Does someone apply for it, and to whom? Is it subjected to be “tasted” (partaken) by the carrier to ensure it is free of poison etc.?

Is any body search of the visitors carried out to eliminate chances of passing on of weapons, iron bars cutting tools like a saw blade or an iron file, fake legal documents for signatures, or any other document containing some secret or vital information etc.?

There are dozens of other restrictions placed upon prisoners according to the Jail Manual. How can all such brazen violations of the rules that we see on TV channels go un-noticed by IG Prisons, the Federal Minister for prisons and other concerned agencies?

COL. RIAZ JAFRI (RETD),

Rawalpindi, February 24.