'New washroom with 5-foot-high walls, door constructed at Imran Khan's cell in Attock jail'

Former prime minister being provided all facilities as per prison rules, clarifies jail spokesperson

Mian Muhammad Abid
Security officers escort Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan outside Islamabad High Court, Islamabad, Pakistan, May 12, 2023. — Reuters
Security officers escort Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan outside Islamabad High Court, Islamabad, Pakistan, May 12, 2023. — Reuters

  • Facilities under 257, 771 of 1978 rules available, says spokesperson. 
  • CCTV cameras installed outside Khan’s cell for his security.
  • ADSJ found Khan's complaints regarding jail conditions 'genuine'.

The Punjab Prisons Department's (PPD) spokesperson on Tuesday clarified that a new washroom with five-foot-high walls and a door have been constructed for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan at Attock Jail.

The clarification by the spokesperson comes after Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ), Attock Shafquat Ullah Khan visited the former prime minister's cell and found his complaints and concerns regarding living conditions — including the lack of privacy in the washroom — to be 'genuine'.

In the clarification issued by the PPD spokesperson, all facilities available under rules 257 and 771 of the Pakistan Prisons Rules, 1978 have been made available to the PTI chief.

Addressing the concerns that did not have any privacy in the bathroom, the spokesperson said a new washroom was constructed in the PTI chairman's cell.

"The walls of the washroom are kept five feet high and a door is also installed," he said, adding that a western commode and wash basin have also been installed in the washroom.

Khan is currently serving a three-year sentence in Attock Jail after being found guilty of corrupt practices in the Toshakhana case earlier this month.

The judge in this observations — issued on Monday and compiled on August 15 — said that Khan on his visit had expressed "grave concerns" about the violation of his privacy and the prevailing living conditions within the prison.

He raised significant concerns regarding a CCTV camera positioned in front of his prison bars, located at a distance of five to six feet, which covers an open bathroom-cum-latrine.

Regarding the CCTV cameras, the spokesperson said that they were installed outside the room. 

"CCTV cameras have been installed outside Imran Khan’s room for his and jail security. More than 4,000 CCTV cameras have been installed not only in District Jail Attock but also in other jails of Punjab for security purposes," the statement added.

He further stated that amenities such as bath soap, perfume, air freshener, towels, tissue papers had been provided, along with a bed, pillows, mattresses, tables, chairs, air conditioners, and exhaust fans.

Moreover, he added that five doctors had been appointed for Khan, of whom one was available at all times, and Khan was only given "special" food after it was checked by doctors.

"Fruits, honey, dates, prayer mat, Quran and books have also been given," the spokesperson added.

The report also stated Khan complained that his wife and lawyers had no easy access to him; however, the spokesperson said that the PTI chairman's family meets him on Tuesdays, while his lawyers visit him on Thursdays.

Last week, Khan's wife Bushra Bibi also voiced concerns about the possibility of her husband being “poisoned” during incarceration at District Jail Attock.

In a letter dated August 17 addressed to the Punjab home secretary, Imran’s wife had sought the ex-PM’s transfer from District Jail Attock to Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail and expressed fear he could be poisoned in lock-up. According to the letter, the life of the ex-prime minister was in danger as “he was previously attacked twice whereby once he was hit by bullets shots (sic) on his body.”

In a related development, the PTI Core Committee meeting highlighted the observations of Additional District and Sessions Judge Shafqut Ullah Khan who ‘verified the bad treatment being meted out to him in Attock Jail.’ The report, the PTI said, subscribes to their assertions of the PTI chairman being subjected to inhuman and illegal treatment in the Attock prison.

Meanwhile, caretaker Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti maintained on the Geo News' programme 'Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’ that the PTI chief was allowed to meet visitors and provided facilities according to the prison class he applied for. Bugti said he would definitely enquire from the Punjab government and jail officials about other issues raised in the inspection report such as the CCTV camera.

“We will ensure that all those facilities and the prison class he (Imran) applied for and deserves as the ex-prime minister according to the law are provided to him. As far as I know, he has a bed and is provided with newspapers but he would get only the facilities that the relevant laws permit.”