Why Nawaz, Maryam shifting to Sihala Rest House has been postponed?

Why Nawaz, Maryam shifting to Sihala Rest House has been postponed?

ISLAMABAD: Security situation at Sihala Rest House has forced the authorities to postpone the shifting of Nawaz, Maryam from Adiala Jail. The shifting of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his Maryam Nawaz to Safwat Lodge, commonly referred to as Sihala Rest House, located on the premises of Sihala Police College from Adiala jail has been deferred, media reported on Friday.

The decision was taken in a meeting attended by Adiala Jail officials and Islamabad Police. The authorities concerned have limited the movement of the deposed prime minister over security concerns.

Officials said that it may be unsafe for the three-time prime minister to remain in the jail due to the presence of high-profile prisoners convicted in terrorism cases, even though security for him and his daughter has been beefed up.

After the late Thursday night developments, police and Rangers personnel deployed at the rest house have been removed. Similarly, a PIMS medical team has also been sent back.

In view of the expected transfer of the Sharif family, Safwat Lodge has been cleaned and decorated with flowers, paintings and photographs. A double bed, two chairs and a table will also be provided to the prisoners.

A bomb disposal squad had visited Sihala Police College on Wednesday to comb the premises to ensure there were no explosives.

Moreover, security outside Adiala jail has also been tightened due to a large number of people coming to meet their loved ones in the jail and the gathering of PML-N workers and leaders attempting to meet Sharif and Maryam.

This is the same lodge where former president and PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari had been detained when his party’s government was dismissed in 1996. Other political leaders have also been detained in the rest house in the past.

On July 13, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration had already declared the rest house a sub-jail for detaining the Sharifs who were arrested by the National Accountability Bureau when they reached Lahore. However, they were taken to Adiala jail instead.

After the notification was issued by the ICT administration and the commandant of Police College Sihala was contacted to seek charge of the rest house on Friday, the rest house was cleaned and prepared for the former prime minister.

Also, ICT Chief Commissioner Joudat Ayaz issued directives to the officials concerned over the possible shifting of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif , his daughter Maryam and son-in-law retired Capt Mohammad Safdar to the rest house.