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Maryam Nawaz kept in solitary confinement: Lawyer Nawaz Sharif

22 July, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Authorities in Adiala jail have turned down the request of Maryam Nawaz, detained leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), to allow her to impart education to jail inmates as she has been kept in solitary confinement, claims a lawyer of the Sharif family.

The jail administration after many deliberations on Saturday finally allowed the Sharif family’s legal team to meet former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar.

The legal team comprises Advocate Amjad Pervaiz, Barrister Saad Hashmi, Zaafir Khan and Mohammad Aurangzeb.

In addition, a member the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) also met the detained PML-N leader in jail.

According to Advocate Pervaiz, Ms Maryam wanted to teach female inmates, but the jail authorities reminded her since she was in solitary confinement she could not meet other prisoners. The jail authorities did not even provide her a pen and paper despite her repeated requests, he added.

He said Ms Maryam had refused the jail administration’s offer of shifting her to Sihala Police College’s rest house which has been declared a sub-jail.

A member of the legal team claimed that though both Mr Sharif and Ms Maryam were entitled to receive four newspapers, the father received only Dawn newspaper and the daughter daily Jang.

He said that both father and daughter had been kept in 12x12 barracks and their adjacent barracks were empty and stinky. Mr Sharif and Ms Maryam were allowed to meet neither each other nor any other prisoner in the jail, he added.

He claimed that while Mr Safdar had informed the jail administration that he had been on specified meal advised by his doctors, he was initially provided unhygienic food due to which he had developed some health issues. However, he added, the administration had started giving him healthy diet from Friday.

According to him, Mr Safdar was not in solitary confinement and had been kept with former additional district and sessions judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan who along with his wife was convicted in the housemaid torture case.

Besides, Ms Maryam sent the public into a frenzy after a tweet was posted from her official Twitter account on Saturday while she is in the jail.

The message — issued from the leader’s official handle @MaryamNSharif — read a couplet by revolutionary Urdu poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

“Jis dhaj se koi maqtal mein gaya/ Woh shaan salamat rehti hai/ Yeh jaan to ani jani hai/Is jaan ki koi baat nahi/ Yeh baazi ishq ki baazi hai/ Jo chaho lagaa do dar kaisa/ Gar jeet gaye to kya kehna/Haare bhi to baazi maat nahi (The grandeur with which someone goes to the gallows is remembered for a long time after/This life is fleeting/ If it is a contest of devotion/ then don’t fear and give it everything/ It’ll be great if you win/ but the battle is not lost even if you lose),” read the tweet typed in Urdu.

The couplet was posted using the hashtag #VoteKoIzzatDo (respect the vote), a slogan former premier Sharif has based his election campaign on before he was arrested a week ago. The tweet received over five thousand retweets within a few hours.

The account had last posted on July 13, the day Mr Sharif and Ms Maryam departed from London to serve their sentence.

Speaking to reporters, a member of PML-N’s social media team clarified that the account was now being handled by their cell and the tweet was not posted by Ms Maryam. He added that the social media cell had received no official directive to use the account from the leadership, as they were not allowed to meet Ms Maryam in jail. “Since Maryam Nawaz has a huge following on Twitter, we independently decided to keep her account active to push the party narrative,” said the member.

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