Imran Khan Taking Sleeping Pills In Prison

Govt refutes reports of installing a camera in his toilet, as the report says the cell was renovated while he is provided chicken and mutton to eat

Imran Khan Taking Sleeping Pills In Prison

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is currently serving a three-year sentence in the Toshakhana case in the Attock Jail, is taking sleeping pills after suffering from insomnia, a report submitted to the Supreme Court has revealed. 

The report was submitted by the Attorney General of Pakistan in response to court directives to furnish information regarding the former premier's status in jail. It consists of a report from the Attock Jail Superintendent wherein the medical examination of Imran Khan by medical officers at the jail was also attached.

It stated that Imran Khan has no history of ischemic heart disease or significant systemic ailment. In fact, a roster of medical professionals at the jail has determined that he is vitally stable with no active medical complaint. 

The report further stated Imran is being provided with a diet that balances the food available in the prison while taking into account his requests to be provided with lean protein in the form of chicken and red meat every week. He is also provided with seasonal fruits to ensure a healthy diet. 

According to the report, the jail medical officer has been advised to conduct regular checkups of Imran Khan and to contact the District Hospital for additional medical support should any issue arise.

The federal government has refuted reports that closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed inside Imran Khan's cell, a point of much debate and concern expressed by various quarters. 

Safe and comfortable cell

The report claims that Imran Khan's incarceration has been classified per his profile and legal status under Rule 228 of Pakistan Prison Rules, 1978. 

"The most safe and secure confinement of this Jail is Block No.02, which was vacated and a section consisting of four cells has been declared as High Observation Block for confinement of the said convicted prisoner (Khan)," the report stated, adding that detention units adjoining Imran Khan's cell in the barracks have also been vacated.

Moreover, the report claims that efforts were made to improve the jail facilities provided to Imran Khan compared to regular prisoners, including renovation and a fresh coat of white paint applied to his jail cell, which measures 9x11 feet.

Moreover, the cell's floor was freshly surfaced using cement, and a ceiling fan was installed.

With concerns that Imran was provided with an open washroom like other regular jail cells, the report said that this area of the former prime minister's jail cell was also upgraded. 

The report said that the washroom in the cell had been extended to a size of 7x4 feet while its wall was raised to five feet, and a door made of fibre plastic was installed.

A new commode, Muslim shower, tissue stand, and stainless steel taps have been installed inside the washroom. The walls of the washroom have also been plastered and painted.

The cell has also been fitted with a wash basin and a large looking glass to facilitate ablution and face wash. 

Physical activity and comfort

The report stated that Imran Khan's cell is open from morning to evening, and he can walk in a strolling shed measuring 13x44 feet.

Imran Khan has also been provided with comfortable furniture and bedding in the cell, including a cot and a mattress, four pillows, a table, a chair, a [rayer mat and an air cooler.

Imran Khan has also been provided with reading material, including a copy of the Holy Quran with English translation and 25 books on Islamic History. 

To keep up with the outside world, Imran Khan has also been provided with a 21-inch LED TV and newspapers. 

To keep his cell clean and hygienic, a sanitary worker has been tasked with cleaning his cell, washroom and clothes daily, a routine that takes around two hours to complete. 

"The confinement area is properly cleaned, and its hygiene is ensured by the said official sanitary worker with cleaning articles including phenyl," said the report.

Enhanced security 

As was when he was not arrested, Imran still receives heavy security even inside the prison - a facility specifically designed to keep people from escaping or allowing assailants to infiltrate.

"To ensure safe custody of the petitioner (Imran Khan), 53 numbers of officials from other jails of the Punjab have been temporarily attached at this jail," the report further stated, adding that the outer and inner security of the jail has been strengthened. 

"Four jail officials, under the supervision of an Assistant Superintendent, in each shift (total 03 shifts consisting upon 08 hours) have been deployed at confinement cell of the petitioner," it said. 

"Three cameras have been installed in the strolling shed to monitor the movement of deployed staff, and the said high profile prisoner while strolling in the shed to ensure his safety and security." 

"These cameras installed in the strolling shed are 12 to 14 feet away from the cell, which does not contravene personal privacy of the said high profile prisoner," the report clarified, adding, "No camera has been installed inside the cell. Two cameras have been installed outside the High Observation Block." 

Wireless sets have also been provided to the deputed staff for timely and effective communication. 

To ensure the provision of uninterrupted power to the cell, the report stated that a 63-kilovolt generator has been installed. 

Menu for Imran Khan

The report also mentioned the menu for Imran Khan.

The menu largely comprises pulses, vegetables, yoghurt, salad, and seasonal fruits.

He is also given rice with either pulses or yoghurt in his dinner.

But, twice a week, he is provided with house-reared chicken (desi), and once a week, he is provided with mutton cooked in ghee.

Meetings and securities

The report said that Imran Khan is allowed to meet with his family, lawyers and friends under Rule 92 and Rule 532 of the Pakistan Prison Rules 1978. 

Thus far, it said that his wife, Bushra Bibi, has met him thrice. In contrast, his lawyers, Naeem Haider Panjutha and Barrister Umair Khan Niazi, have met him once, each separately on different days. 

Moreover, lawyers Sardar Latif Khosa and Babar Awan met Imran Khan on August 23.

The report further states that the prison authorities must make extraordinary security arrangements during Khan's meetings. 

It stated that the security arrangements restrict the movement of prisoners during visitation apart from impacting other day-to-day affairs of the prison. 

"In this backdrop, to convene a meeting of convicted prisoner in question six days of the week may jeopardize the rights of 982 prisoners presently confined in District Jail, Attock," the report stated. 

The writer is an Islamabad based journalist working with The Friday Times. He tweets @SabihUlHussnain