Press Trust of india

Sharif, Maryam to be shifted from Adiala to Sihala jail amid ‘security fears’

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Lahore, Jul 19:  Jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam may be shifted from the high-security Adiala jail to Sihala Rest House, which has been converted into a sub-jail in the suburbs of Islamabad after some prisoners started chanting slogans against him this morning, prison authorities said.

Sharif, 68, and his daughter Maryam, 44, were arrested in Lahore on July 13 on their arrival from London after an accountability court found them guilty over his family’s ownership of four luxury flats in London. They were later taken to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

Both Sharif and Maryam have been sentenced by the accountability court to 10 and 7 years in prison respectively for corruption charges linked to Panama Papers scandal.

Adiala jail authorities have limited the movement of Sharif after some prisoners started chanting slogans against him as he was out for a stroll in the courtyard of his barrack this morning, Dawn News reported.

He will now also not be allowed to pray in the mosque, it said.

According to sources, the jail authorities are considering moving Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz to Safwat Lodge, commonly referred to as Sihala Rest House, located on the premises of Sihala Police College, the report said.

“A bomb disposal squad visited Sihala Police College last last night to comb the premises to ensure there are no explosives in case the former premier and his daughter are moved to Sihala,” a senior security official was quoted as saying by the report.

The rest house has already been declared as a sub-jail and security at Sihala has also been beefed up by the authorities.

It may be unsafe for the three-time prime minister to remain in the jail due to the presence of high profile prisoners convicted in terrorism cases, even though security for him and his daughter has been beefed up, the official said.

A senior police official said security outside Adiala jail has also been tightened due to the large number of people coming to meet their loved ones in jail and the gathering of PML-N workers and leaders attempting to meet Sharif and Maryam.

Safwat Lodge has been cleaned and decorated with flowers, paintings and photographs. A double bed, two chairs and a table will also be provided to the prisoners.

This is the same lodge where former president and PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari had been detained when his party’s government was dismissed in 1996. Other political leaders have also been detained in the rest house in the past.

On July 13, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration had already declared the rest house a sub-jail for detaining the Sharifs who were arrested by the National Accountability Bureau when they reached Lahore. However, they were taken to Adiala jail instead.

After the notification was issued by the ICT administration, the rest house on Friday, the rest house was cleaned and prepared for the former prime minister, the report said.

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