ISLAMABAD: During the meeting with his lawyers on Saturday, Nawaz Sharif was perspiring profusely, a source familiar with the meeting told The Express Tribune on Sunday.
Sharif, he said, had a long history of heart problems and had already twice undergone procedures, including a bypass surgery.
The source said that Sharif also suffered from hypertension, associated sub-normal kidney function, and other complications.
He cited eyewitnesses as saying that his physician was not allowed to accompany him when he was taken to Adiala jail.
According to him, doctors who examined Sharif at Adiala Jail knew about his critical condition, including the heart disease and that the current weather – fluctuating between extreme humidity and heat – was inevitably going to adversely affect his health.
However, the jail authorities or “whoever is in control of these matters” chose not to provide him with an air conditioner that was “so necessary because of his heart condition.
Despite perspiring profusely, Nawaz Sharif did not complain, the source said.
Nawaz Sharif, Maryam and Capt (retd) Safdar did not want to ask for any undue favours.
According to the source, Sharif’s lawyers had even prepared a request for bail on medical grounds, but Sharif wanted everything to be on merit.
He said that he was surprised that the jail authorities had chosen to ignore his ailments.
Caretakers’ competence questioned
Recent controversies involving the detention of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz in Adiala Jail put a question mark over the competence of the caretaker set-up.
Officials at Adiala Jail, the caretaker governments at the Centre and in Punjab, as well as the Rawalpindi district administration were all clueless how Maryam Nawaz managed to tweet twice from Adiala Jail on Saturday and Sunday.
Under jail rules, she is not allowed to access either cell phone or internet.
Some veteran PML-N leaders insist that her son, Junaid Safdar, is using his mother’s Twitter handle to send ‘emotional’ tweets.
Meanwhile, the authorities concerned are reluctant to officially speak on the matter.
Junaid recently met his mother in Adiala Jail, and she told him her twitter account password, PML-N sources maintained.
Requesting anonymity, a senior police official, who once served in Rawalpindi, said these tweets merited a thorough inquiry.
“Messages are being sent from the social media account of a convicted prisoner. This is … very serious. This needs to be investigated,” he said.
Only a detailed yet speedy inquiry can determine if the prisoner is (illegally) accessing her phone and internet to send out tweets or someone is doing this on her behalf.”
This is not the first time the role of caretaker authorities have come under sharp criticism. Another such episode occurred when the caretakers remained undecided over whether to send Sharif and Maryam to Sihala Police Training College Rest House or to keep them at Adiala Jail.
On July 13, the chief commissioner office Islamabad issued a notification, stating that Sharif and Maryam would be kept in Sihala Police Training College Rest House, Islamabad.
However, this notification was later withdrawn by the chief commissioner’s office. It stated that only Maryam would be kept in the rest house while Sharif would be kept in Adiala Jail. This notification was also withdrawn. Another notification was issued in the pre-dawn hours on Saturday, insisting that both Nawaz and Maryam would be kept in Adiala Jail.
In another twist, reports again surfaced that the authorities had decided to send Maryam to Sihala guest house. However, this decision was ‘postponed’ reportedly after the former PM’s daughter refused to be shifted to the guest house, saying she wanted to stay where she was.
Former secretary of the ECP Kanwar Dilshad said that the incompetence of the caretaker governments in Punjab and at the Centre was attracting due criticism.
“A convicted prisoner does not decide where he or she will be detained. Caretakers are simply embarrassing themselves. It seems that they are trying to kill two birds with one stone: They have to implement a court order while at the same time they do not want to offend the powerful Sharifs.”
Dilshad wondered why the administration and jail authorities were indecisive about where to keep the Sharifs.
“Some reports say Maryam and her father will be shifted to Sihala. Other reports suggest only Maryam will be shifted. Subsequently, we hear that the decision has been postponed because Maryam did not want to leave Adiala. I fail to understand why they should be shifted to a rest house instead of [serving their sentence in] jail, but if the authorities decided on one way or another, they should stand by their decision.”
He said that stern action should be taken if it was established that Maryam managed to access her phone and internet from Adiala Jail to send out tweets.
“The caretakers have so far been an absolute disappointment. They must take improve their performance otherwise, it will tarnish their reputation.”
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