Security threat: Visits, meetings banned at Adiala jail for two weeks

Asif Mehmood Butt & Mumtaz Alvi & Sher Ali Khalti & / News Desk
Wednesday, Mar 13, 2024

LAHORE/ ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government has imposed a two-week ban on all public visits, meetings and interviews at the Adiala Jail citing security threats.

The PTI leadership has decried the home department’s move and termed it a deliberate plan to stop them from meeting their party founder Imran Khan.

In a letter written to the IG Prisons, the Home Department said its Internal Security Wing had conveyed that “there exist different types of threats to [the] security of Adiala Jail, as some anti-state terrorist groups supported by the enemies of Pakistan had planned to conduct targeted attacks.

“As a security measure against the aforementioned attacks,” the department requested the prison chief to “stop the public visits/meetings/interviews within the Adiala Jail immediately for two weeks”.

Meanehile, Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan expressed serious concerns on Tuesday about the safety of the party’s founder chairman, Imran Khan, currently held in Adiala Jail. He denounced the ban on meetings with Khan, viewing it as a deliberate attempt to isolate him.

Flanked by PTI Secretary General and Opposition leader in the National Assembly, Omar Ayub, Gohar Ali Khan condemned the two-week blanket ban on meetings with Khan, citing security threats as the reason behind it. He vehemently opposed this move, demanding that Khan’s family members and lawyers should have been informed before its implementation. Gohar Ali Khan reiterated Khan’s expressed distrust towards those responsible for his custody. He demanded immediate clarification on Khan’s health, safety, and security situation.

The PTI chairman stressed that Imran Khan’s imprisonment was based on fabricated and politically motivated charges and expressed the hope that justice would prevail, clearing Khan of these false accusations.

“Imran Khan’s life is in danger,” Gohar Ali Khan said emphatically. He called for immediate permission to meet Khan and demanded transparency regarding the source of ban orders.

He revealed that despite court orders permitting routine meetings on certain days, neither Khan’s family, lawyers nor the PTI leadership were granted access to him.

He lamented the conditions of Khan’s wife, Bushra Bibi, confined to a small room in Bani Gala, saying that her treatment was worse than that in Adiala Jail.

Omar Ayub, the PTI Secretary General, echoed Gohar Ali Khan’s concerns, saying that despite court orders, he was denied access to Imran Khan during his visits to Adiala Jail.

Referring to the reluctance of the Punjab chief minister and IG Punjab to comply with court orders under the guise of security concerns, Ayub asserted that their attempts to isolate Khan would fail as the nation stood united behind Khan’s vision of true freedom.

He criticized the “unconstitutional actions” of Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz and the interior minister, holding them responsible for the current situation.

Omar Ayub demanded an investigation into human rights violations at Adiala Jail and warned of the repercussions of escalating inflation and rising electricity prices.

The PTI leaders vowed to hold those responsible for Khan’s predicament accountable and stressed the importance of upholding the rule of law for the progress of the nation.

Meanwhile, sources said the Punjab government has decided to temporarily ban meetings in four more jails of the province after receiving security threats.

They said after fresh threat alerts from CTD Punjab and law enforcement agencies, it has been decided to ban meetings in Attock, Mianwali, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bhakkar jails.

Sources said that the orders sent by the Home Department to the IG Prisons Punjab directed security audit of prisons, special checking by bomb disposal squad and special checking of personnel entering the prison. Besides installation of barbed wires, temporary ban on meetings in jails, mock exercises of police and rangers have been recommended.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government stopped Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur from meeting the PTI founder due to the security threat. In a letter written by the Home Department of Punjab to the Deputy Secretary Judicial of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, it was stated that due to security threats, meetings with the PTI founder have been banned.