LAHORE - Setting another example of courage and humility, jailed PML-N star Maryam Nawaz Sharif has turned down the offer of getting a better class in Adiala Jail and preferred staying in the ordinary one.

The jail superintendent had asked the daughter of the former prime minister to apply for better class/facilities in the jail as per rules, but she refused the offer with thanks saying in her written statement that she was doing this of her ‘own will’.

“This is purely my own decision, taken without any pressure from anyone,” Maryam wrote in her note, adding that she was rather willing to stay in the ordinary class.

There are three categories (A, B and C) for the prisoners and they get one of these according to their respective status, payment of tax and education.

A person who had held the office of president, prime minister or minister in the government automatically becomes entitled to the A-Class facilities in case of their landing in jail for some reason.

A-Class prisoners are provided with a separate air-conditioned room, attached bath, veranda and a lawn. The room is equipped with TV, bed, table and chair, while two attendants are also provided to the VIP prisoner to look after his needs.

The A-category prisoner also gets newspapers and the facility of receiving homemade food as well as some other items. However, they are not allowed to keep a cell-phone.

The B-Class is also a privileged category. A convict is entitled to this class if he/she had held the public office of Grade 20 or above, or is a parliamentarian, or has paid at least Rs6 lakh tax per annum.

Jail rules say that a taxpayer’s class is also determined by taking into account his education, business and social status in his community. The Home Department ascertains that status through its means and sources, as the legal experts on the subject say.

The C-Class is an ordinary category, which is also called general category, where no special facilities are provided – although a prisoner can seek some facilities through an application mentioning the grounds for his request.

In case of Sharifs, Nawaz is straightway entitled to A-Class but Maryam has neither been a parliamentarian nor held the office of grade-20 or above in the civil services.

However, the daughter of the former prime minister still may claim certain privileges and apply for a better class, say the lawyers.

Message from jail

Maryam Nawaz has sent a special message to her party workers from jail wherein she has shed light on the circumstances her ailing mother Begum Kalsoom Nawaz is in London and the reasons of her returning to the country along with her father.

She said she came to Pakistan leaving the critically-ill mother behind only to face the jail and surrender before the law. She urged everyone to pray for the health of her mother so she could see her healthy and hearty again.

Maryam said she has committed no offence but she came to the jail for she is the blood of Nawaz Sharif. “I am brave daughter of a brave father and the bold nation.”

She said ‘they’ tried to make her weakness of Nawaz Sharif but she has come out as his strength.

“Had I not been in the jail I would have been fighting this historic and decisive [electoral] battle [along] with you. Despite [being] jailed, I am with you every moment,” she said addressing the party workers. She advised them to make full preparations for taking part in the election.

Urging the women to also take part in this battle, Maryam Nawaz said it was not the time to stay at home but come out and convey the slogan of ‘vote to izzat do’ to every house.

She said previously she was a candidate for one constituency “but now I am contesting from all 272 constituencies of the country”.

The jailed leader hoped that people will respect her call and come out to strengthen the democracy and ensure sanctity of the vote. She optimistically said, the ultimate victory will be of the PML-N and people’s mandate.