Nawaz likely to lose air conditioning after PM’s ‘directives’


–Official refuses to comment on matter, says PM’s directives will be implemented if given


LAHORE: The Punjab government has reportedly directed the Inspector General (Prisons) Shahid Saleem Baig to remove the air conditioner in the prison cell of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, prompting criticism from his daughter Maryam Nawaz who warned this would be equivalent to putting Nawaz’s life in danger.

A letter written by the provincial home department to the IG prison’s office on July 17 said, “The following directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan have been intimated for implementation and report ‘No preferential treatment be given to the criminals and money launderers in the prisons in Punjab’.”

The letter further directed IG Saleem to take necessary action in the matter immediately and send a report in three days.

In another letter, dated July 12, it was mentioned that information regarding the implementation of four directives of the prime minister were still awaited.

According to the letter, the PM, apart from instructing the Punjab government to take action against child pornographers, child molesters and fake encounters by police, had also asked not to provide any preferential treatment to “criminal and money launders” in prison of Punjab.

In his address to the Pakistani community in the US on Sunday, Imran announced to withdraw the facilities of AC and televisions from jailed politicians, including Nawaz Sharif, who is imprisoned in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail, as well as the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

However, the above letters show that long before Washington address, the PM had already instructed authorities to withdraw these facilities.

The additional secretary (Prisons), however, has denied knowledge of any such letters and said when instructions would be given by the prime minister they would be implemented.

Provincial information department has also declined to comment on the matter. Spokesperson to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Gill was also unavailable for comment on the issue.