Pakistan: Imran Khan, Qureshi Accorded Status of High-Profile Prisoners, to Perform Prison Labour

Last Updated: February 05, 2024, 15:16 IST

A court handed former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi 10-year jail sentences in the cipher case. (Image: Reuters File)

Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan and ex-Foreign Minister Qureshi sentenced to prison labor in high-security Adiala Jail. Details on their confinement and legal cases

Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan and ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi despite being high-profile prisoners will have to perform their prison labour inside the compound, according to a media report.

Both the leaders were convicted by a special court for a 10-year jail term in the cipher case and have been imprisoned in Rawalpindi’s high-security Adiala Jail, where their trial was held. Khan, 71, and Qureshi, 67, are being kept separately as high-profile prisoners – in their capacity as a former prime minister and foreign minister, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

Khan is the founder chairman of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf: while Qureshi is the vice chairman of the party. Both the leaders are availing the facilities provided to inmates in a better-class prison similar to the ones they had before their conviction including access to an exercise machine, it said. According to sources, the two men have been given two sets of prison uniforms according to the jail manual.

However, as the PTI founding chairman’s trial is underway in other cases, it has not been made mandatory for him to wear the prison uniform. The two inmates will also perform their prison labour inside the compound as per the written order. Quoting sources, the report said that high-profile prisoners could not be kept in jail factories, kitchens, hospitals, gardens, etc, among ordinary inmates. Therefore, they will be kept there in their compound for maintenance work or any other task assigned by the jail administration.

Both prisoners can prepare their own food according to the assigned class. They can also eat prepared food according to the jail manual. Similarly, Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi, who has been convicted in the Toshakhana (gift repository and Iddat cases), has been assigned a female police staff headed by a lady assistant superintendent each from Attock and Multan. The police officers will be stationed in two shifts 24 hours a day at the couple’s Bani Gala residence, which has been declared a sub-jail.

Male officers of Adiala Jail have been posted on the outer boundaries of the Bani Gala residence and Islamabad police are responsible for the security around it. According to the sources, the 49-year-old former first lady is being provided breakfast, lunch and dinner by the prison administration according to the jail manual. However, they added that as Bushra was not in a regular prison, but incarcerated in a sub-jail, she could not be provided with the facility of an exercise machine.

The sources said that since Khan and Qureshi were arrested and imprisoned in jail before conviction, that time would also be counted in their punishments. Two days earlier, a court sentenced Khan and his wife to seven years imprisonment in an “un-Islamic” marriage or Iddat case. Last week, the PTI founding chairman and his wife were sentenced to 14 years imprisonment in the Toshakhana case. Separately, Khan and Qureshi were handed down a jail term of 10 years in the cipher case last week as well, according to the paper.

The cipher case pertains to a piece of paper, purported to be a diplomatic cable — the cipher — that Khan had waved at a public rally on March 27, 2022, and naming the US, had claimed that it was ‘evidence’ of an “international conspiracy” to topple his government. The case was filed against Khan and Qureshi on August 15 last year by the Federal Investigation Agency, which accused both of violating the secrecy laws while handling the cable sent by the Pakistan embassy in Washington in March 2022. Khan and Qureshi have also been barred from politics for five years.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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