Home Latest News PTI Slams Two-Week Ban on Visits to Adiala Jail

PTI Slams Two-Week Ban on Visits to Adiala Jail

Party claims move aimed at preventing them from meeting Imran Khan, as Punjab government insists measures necessary in light of security threats

by Staff Report

File photo of Adiala Jail

The Punjab government on Tuesday banned all public visits, meetings and interviews at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail over “security threats,” with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) claiming the restrictions were aimed at preventing them from meeting founder Imran Khan, who is currently incarcerated at the prison.

In a letter to the Punjab prisons chief, the Punjab Home Department said its Internal Security Wing conveyed “there exist different types of threats to security of Adiala jail, as some anti-state terrorist groups supported by the enemies of Pakistan have planned to conduct targeted attacks.” To counter these attacks, it requested the prison chief to “stop public visits/meetings/interviews within the Adiala Jail immediately for two weeks.”

The decision follows a statement from the Rawalpindi Counter Terrorism Department last week in which it claimed to foil an attempt to attack the jail and arrested three terrorists.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan condemned the “blanket ban,” accusing the government of using the terror threat as an excuse. “We demand that before imposing this, his (Imran’s) family members and lawyers should have been informed,” he said, adding that “caging” the former prime minister “all of a sudden” indicated his life was in danger.

Similarly, National Assembly Opposition Leader Omar Ayub Khan also condemned the two-week ban and blamed Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz; Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif; and Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi for the situation. He claimed the plan was to deny PTI leaders’ meetings with Khan ahead of the Senate elections to hamper efforts to discuss ticket allocation.

PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan, meanwhile, described the ban as a “criminal act, which reflects the extent of fear the unconstitutional and illegal government of Punjab and their handlers suffer from.” In a posting on X, he said the PTI would challenge the ban in court.

The Punjab government, meanwhile, maintained the ban was not Imran-specific and was necessary in view of prevailing security threats. “This move wasn’t made to take away any facility from him [Khan]. There is a serious threat alert, which is under investigation,” Punjab Information Minister Azma Bukhari told Geo News. “The incident [reported by the CTD] 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 added.

Also on Tuesday, in a letter to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government, the Punjab Home Department asked them to defer any further meetings between Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur and the PTI founder. Noting the restrictions on public meetings for security purposes, it said such measures were adopted to prevent any untoward incident. “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.”

On Wednesday, Information Minister Attaullah Tarar told media recent terror alerts had prompted a security audit of the jails at Adiala, Mianwali and Dera Ghazi Khan. “When security concerns are expressed, it is mandatory that there is due diligence and you take precautions,” he added.

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