Islamabad   -  The special security measures at cardiac center of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) for former Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar have increased the difficulties of common patients seeking cardiac healthcare.

The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration has declared the premises of private ward, cardiac center, PIMS as sub jail for Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar –who was convicted by National Accountability Court (NAB).

The center will remain a sub-jail till his retention in the hospital.  Soon after declaring the cardiac center as sub-jail, the federal police put large barbed wires on three sides of the cardiac center including its main entrance.

The barriers are down and a board has been placed with faded text on it, instructing the people to drop their patient at barrier and turn their vehicles back.  Nearly one dozen policemen and half a dozen DSNG vans of television stations, at the PIMS sub-jail is telling the story that it is hosting a ‘special guest’.

The city administration has passed an order that patients with minor ailment and attendants have to walk from the barrier to the entry gate of cardiac center. The distance from barrier to the entry gate is more than 100 yards.

However, the ambulances and private vehicles carrying emergency patients are allowed to reach the entry gate for first aid and other healthcare services.  Muhammad Ismail, whose cousin is admitted at cardiac center said, “I was allowed to see my cousin after proving my identity, but why do I have to pass extra security measures,” he asked.

 Ismail said that such security measures have a psychological impact on common man. “When I saw unusual security here I initially thought to return as I don’t want any confrontation with the police,” he said.   “No one can predict a cardiac arrest, what if anyone suffers from it, while walking these 100 yards,” said Ismail.

The policemen deployed on security also wore a deserted look on their face bore, they have to remain active following the high authorities order, but also are confident that the convict will not escape from the hospital.

He said there is no stopover for any patient or the attendant by police, but we have to restrict the unnecessary movement of vehicles nearby, as it is our duty.

Meanwhile, a medical rep, Muhammad Kamran who also witnessed the security measures taken at the same place for former PM Nawaz Sharif viewed things differently.

“Surprisingly, I was allowed to enter the cardiac center after security checking which was impossible when former PM was brought here,” he said.  He said some of the rooms adjacent to the room where Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar was admitted are also reserved that no one can reach nearby his room.

“He is Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar, and security is normal, the situation would have been completely different if Nawaz Sharif or Mariyam Nawaz had been brought here,” he said.

Meanwhile, PIMS spokesperson Dr. Waseem Khawaja said that hospital administration is always concerned about providing maximum facilities to patients.  “Special security measures are sometimes compulsory in unusual situations but it doesn’t mean that there should be discrimination against other patients,” he said.

All patients and attendants are allowed to visit the cardiac center according to the hospital rules and security has only restricted the unnecessary movement inside the center.

But Sakeena bibi who is uncomfortable with the presence of extra security measures feel insecure and fears of any unpleasant incident.

“The people admitted to this facility are cardiac patients, any unpleasant incident and repeated security and VVIP movements here makes them uncomfortable,” she said.

“It’s not a sub-jail for one person, all the patients are imprisoned here in this situation,” she said.