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Monday April 15, 2024

Imran appoints focal persons after agreement with Adiala authorities

The development comes after both sides reached a consensus on holding meetings inside the jail facility in the light of relevant court order

By Awais Yousafzai
March 31, 2024
PTI founder Imran Khan entering a court room in this undated picture. — AFP/File
PTI founder Imran Khan entering a court room in this undated picture. — AFP/File

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan Saturday appointed three focal persons after inking an agreement with the Adiala jail authorities on SOPs for holding meetings in the facility.

As per the document, which bears the signature of ex-prime minister as well as superintendent of Adiala jail, Khan has appointed PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan, Sher Afzal Marwat and Barrister Umair Niazi as his focal persons.

According to the agreed-upon SOPs, each focal person will provide two names for holding each week a meeting with the incarcerated party founder, who will be allowed to meet family members and his lawyers on Tuesday and Thursday.

The development comes after both sides reached a consensus on holding meetings inside the jail facility in the light of relevant court order.

Furthermore, the time of meetings will be between 30 to 45 minutes with the maximum number of visitors in each session limited to six. Also, the “trend of individual petitions in the courts will be discouraged,” the agreement reads while seemingly referring to the PTI’s move to reach out to courts on the issue of holding meetings with the incarcerated party founder.

Earlier this month, the Punjab government barred prisoners — including PTI founder who’s been imprisoned at the said facility since September 26, 2023, and is serving an accumulative sentence of 31 years in various cases — from holding meetings inside the jail owing to security concerns.

Despite resulting in strong criticism from the party, the moves, as per Punjab’s Information Minister Azma Bukhari, were not aimed at hindering Khan’s meetings but in fact was simply due to “a serious threat alert”.

The restriction came after the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) arrested three terrorists and recovered a map of Adiala Jail, a hand grenade and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from their possession. According to Rawalpindi City Police Officer (CPO) Khalid Hamdani, police recovered automatic weapons and ammunition from the terrorists.

The CPO said the terrorists hailed from Afghanistan, adding that further investigation from them was underway.

Earlier on November 7, 2023, police found a suspicious bag laden with an explosive device near the Adiala Road in Gorakhpur, Rawalpindi, just one kilometre away from the Adiala jail.