Mumbai

Nawaz Sharif denied helper in jail, told to maintain room on his own

Islamabad: Pakistan’s
incarcerated former prime minister Nawaz Sharif will have to maintain his jail
room on his own as the Punjab provincial government refused to provide him a
prisoner who could serve as his orderly, according to a media report. Sharif,
69, has been serving a seven-year jail term in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail in the
Al-Azizia Steel Mills graft case and being a former prime minister he is
entitled to better facilities including an orderly who is from prisoners. Punjab’s
Inspector General of Prisons Shahid Saleem Beg said on Wednesday that Punjab
government decided that it could not provide a prisoner to Sharif who could
serve as his orderly and that he would have to maintain his room on his own,
the Dawn reported.

The
prisons chief said “Nawaz Sharif has been asked to maintain his room”
to serve out the seven-year “rigorous” imprisonment handed down to
him in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills/Hill Metal Establishment reference. Speaking
to the media in the presence of Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar at the Governor
House, the prisons chief said Sharif’s case was highly sensitive and he could
not be allowed to go outside his barracks in the prison. He said Sharif’s
“rigour had been kept within his barracks”.

According
to the jail manual, he said, the former premier had been asked to maintain his
room himself. However, he later clarified to the daily that Sharif had not been
put to any rigour, adding that the manual allowed elderly inmates certain
concessions on that count. “Any issue related to Nawaz Sharif in jail
could bring a bad name to Pakistan,” Beg said.

Meanwhile,
Maryam Sharif, the daughter of the ex-premier, on Thursday said her father was
in high spirits in the jail. “Just came out of Kotlakhpat jail. MNS was
fine and Alhamdolillah in high spirits,” Maryam said in a Twitter post. “Thank
you everyone for your prayers, unflinching support good wishes. God bless
you all,” she added. Sharif on Thursday filed a plea before the Islamabad
High Court to grant him bail and suspend his seven year jail sentence in the
Al-Azizia corruption case till the high court decides on his appeal against the
verdict.

An
anti-corruption court in Pakistan on December 24 sentenced the ousted premier
to seven years in jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills graft case but acquitted
him in the Flagship Investments case, concluding a series of three court cases
against the Sharif family in the high-profile Panama Papers case. The Al-Azizia
Steel Mill case was about setting up steel mills in Saudi Arabia allegedly with
corruption money. Three cases – Avenfield properties case, Flagship investment
case and Al-Azizia steel mills case – were launched against the Sharif family
by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on September 8, 2017 following a
judgment by the Supreme Court that disqualified Sharif in the Panama Papers
case in July last year.

Article source: https://www.freepressjournal.in/world/nawaz-sharif-denied-helper-in-jail-told-to-maintain-room-on-his-own/1429121

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