LAHORE - Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif is being provided ‘all possible facilities’ at the prison cell in Adiala Jail , official sources said. However, Maryam Nawaz is living in the same jail as an ordinary prisoner.
An official of the Punjab Prison Department on Thursday told The Nation that the former PM Nawaz Sharif was being provided more facilities at the jail than his entitlement.
“A new commode toilet has been installed in the prison cell to facilitate former PM Nawaz Sharif at the Adiala Jail , Rawalpindi,” said the official, who spoke to The Nation on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to media.
B CLASS & C CLASS
“There are only two classes (B class and C class) for prisoners, in the jail. The former prime ministers, ministers, parliamentarians, senior bureaucrats and those who pay more than Rs 600,000 tax per annum could avail Better Class facility while all other prisoners are kept in the Common Class,” the official explained. However, all prisoners are served the same food according to the jail menu.
Under the better class or superior class, the prisoners are provided a separate cell, a charpoy, a table with chair and a copy of newspaper. They are also entitled to get a servant for ordinary work at the cell.
The PML-N Quaid was also being provided a charpoy, a chair with a table and a newspaper copy in addition to private doctors for medical checkup.
“As per jail laws, only the jail doctor or a professor of a government-run hospital can visit the cell for medical checkup of prisoners.
But the family doctor of former PM Nawaz Sharif has been allowed to visit the cell,” the official explained. “This is a big favour given to the ex-PM because he will feel more comfortable with his family doctor.”
Another official said that only six people can visit the jail to meet any prisoner once in a week under the better class category. “The close relatives are given preference to meet the inmates,” he said. “But Nawaz Sharif met more than two dozen people in the jail since he was brought to the prison.”
“By design,” he said, “jails are built to accommodate prisoners and police staff. “Unfortunately, we don’t have modern jails as per international standards. Most of the jails lack even basic facilities. So, how the jail administration can provide best facilities to anyone?” the official questioned.
A senior official of the provincial prison department who also spoke to this reporter while seeking anonymity said that it was the prime responsibility of the jail staff to take care of prisoners.
“It is our moral and legal responsibility to take care of prisoners (by) providing them food, medicines and comfortable environment,” he said. “But jail itself is a problem and anxiety (for the prisoners) and we can’t do anything in this regard.”
It was also learnt that a private cook was also provided to Nawaz Sharif in the prison. However, Maryam Nawaz is living in a separate prison cell like an ordinary prisoner since she did not applied for better class. Reportedly, Maryam Nawaz had refused to file an appeal with jail superintendent to seek better class that is provided to those who pay more than Rs 600,000 tax per year.