‘Serious threat’ to Adiala Jail, says Punjab govt after Imran barred from holding meetings

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The restrictions imposed in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail are not aimed at hindering meetings of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) leaders with party founder Imran Khan, Punjab’s Information Minister Azma Bukhari said Tuesday.

Bukhari’s statement came after Khan, a former prime minister imprisoned in several cases and serving more than three decades, was barred from holding meetings inside Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail for two weeks owing to security concerns.

“This move wasn’t made to take away any facility from him [Khan]. There is a serious threat alert, which is under investigation,” the provincial information minister told Geo News’ Shahzeb Khanzada.

Bukhari, who recently assumed office after her party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, an arch rival of the PTI, came into power, said her party was not seeking revenge from the former prime minister.

She said the fresh restrictions were imposed, as a few days back, the law enforcers had arrested terrorists who possessed a map of the jail in which Khan is currently imprisoned.

Last week, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) claimed to have arrested three terrorists, allegedly belonging to Afghanistan, who had a map of Adiala Jail, a hand grenade, and Improvised Explosive Devices.

“The incident is under investigation. A series of threat alerts have been issued. These measures were taken to ensure the security of all the prisoners. The security of the facility has to be improved,” she said.

Slamming PTI’s allegations that the capture of the terrorists was a false flag operation, Bukhari clarified that the opposition party “sees conspiracies” in everything, assuring the party that their leader was being provided all facilities in prison.

“There’s a threat in general [to the Adiala Jail], not Imran Khan, that something unpleasant might happen. Therefore, it is important not only to ensure Imran Khan’s security, but everyone else’s.”

Expressing severe concerns over the abrupt ban on Khan’s meeting in Adiala jail earlier in the day, PTI Chairman Gohar Ali Khan feared that the former prime minister’s life was in danger.

Addressing a press conference outside the jail, Gohar said that the party leaders were barred from meeting the incarcerated PTI founder. He said that the authorities did not inform anybody about the two-week ban on Khan’s meeting.

The authorities gave “terrorism” as a reason for the move, he added. Gohar demanded immediate meeting and consultations with the incarcerated PTI founder. He also sought the details about Khan’s health.

Khan, who was moved to the Adiala jail in September 2023 from Attock jail, is serving an accumulative sentence of 31 years in various cases and has been engaging his lawyers, party leaders and family members during his imprisonment as previously the authorities had allocated Monday and Thursdays for meetings.

Threats to other jails

Separately, in a letter to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, the Punjab Home Department asked them to delay KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur’s meeting with the PTI founder.

The letter mentioned that the Punjab government has imposed temporary restrictions on visits and meetings in different jails of the province, including Adiala.

The move, the letter mentioned, was a part of measures taken for the security of the prisoners against the recent threat alerts.

“Adoption of these measures was imperative to avert the occurrence of any type of untoward incident that is reportedly being planned by the hostile elements of the country.”

“It is, therefore, requested that the visit of Honorable Chief Minister, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa may please be pended to some further date due to the Prevailing security situation.”

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