‘Secret acts accused not allowed to speak over phone,’ jail official tells judge

"According to Prisoners Act, 1978, prisoners not allowed to call on foreign telephone numbers," says superintendent jail

Web Desk
PTI Chairman Imran Khan (left) with sons Suleman Khan and Qasim Khan. — Instagram/khanjemima
PTI Chairman Imran Khan (left) with sons Suleman Khan and Qasim Khan. — Instagram/khanjemima

  • Jail official cites Prisoners Act, 1978 as a reason to deny permission. 
  • Superintendent says he did not violate special court order.
  • Judge directs jail superintendent to present arguments on Sept 18.

The Attock jail authorities on Friday submitted a reply to the contempt of court petition for refusing to permit a telephonic conversation between incarcerated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and his sons.

The superintendent, in his reply to Judge Abual Hasant Zulqarnain, argued that jail rules do not allow the accused facing charges under the Official Secrets Act to speak over phone. 

He further contended that the court order permitting Khan to contact his sons was not violated. "According to the Prisoners Act, 1978, prisoners are not allowed to make calls on foreign telephone numbers," he wrote.

The presiding judge then directed the jail superintendent to present his arguments on September 18 before the court.

Khan has been incarcerated in Attock prison since his arrest on August 05 after a trial convicted him in the Toshakhana case. 

After the Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended his sentence in the Toshakhana case, the authorities arrested him in the cipher case wherein he is in judicial custody till September 26.  

Last month, he was granted permission by the special court, formed to hear cases registered under Official Secrets Act, to speak to his sons.

However, on Monday he filed a petition seeking contempt of court proceedings against the Attock jail superintendent for allegedly violating the court's order and denying him permission to speak to his sons over the phone.

The PTI chief, through his lawyers Umair Niazi and Shiraz Ahmed had filed a petition seeking permission to talk to his sons Qasim and Sulaiman — living in London with their mother — on the telephone.

“I want to talk to my sons Qasim and Sulaiman on the telephone or via WhatsApp,” he had pleaded, a request which was approved by the court.

It is important to note that during the government of Imran Khan in 2018, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif wasn’t allowed to speak to his ailing wife who was then battling with cancer in a London hospital.

Begum Kulsoom Nawaz passed away in September 2018 in the UK capital.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo and other party leaders have mentioned this on multiple occasions, slamming the PTI government for this “cruelty”.