June 1, 2023
By Ahmed Saeed
Inspector General (IG) of Prisons Punjab Farooq Nazir categorically denied allegations of any maltreatment meted out to female prisoners belonging to Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) in Punjab’s jails.
Speaking to Voicepk.net, the IG termed the accusations levelled by senior PTI leadership “false and misleading.”
The PTI leadership, including its Chairman Imran Khan, has made multiple allegations that their female workers have been subjected to ‘inhumane treatment and rape’ in jails. The former prime minister urged the country’s apex court to take suo moto notice of the alleged abuse.
“There is not even an iota of truth in what is being disseminated by some people. They are just trying to defame the institution,” Nazir told Voicepk.net, adding that it is impossible that a woman can be raped inside jail premises.
He stated that currently ten female prisoners belonging to the PTI are under custody, seven of whom are being held in Kot Lakhpat Jail while the remaining women are confined in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.
“Women prisoners are kept in separate sections in both jails, where no male is allowed to enter. The female section of Kot Lakhpat Jail is under surveillance by over 60 CCTV cameras working 24/7. Over 160 other female prisoners are also confined in the same premises, and no one including PTI prisoners have ever complained about maltreatment let alone serious charges like rape,” he said.
The IG also explained that the administrative control of the women’s section lies with women jail staff, and that a female deputy superintendent is in charge of this section.
Rubina Shaheen, a women protection officer at the Asma Jahangir Legal Aid Cell (AGHS) who has been visiting jails to provide legal aid for the last 30 years, agreed with the IG prisons statement.
“No female inmate has ever complained to me about sexual violence, nor have I ever heard of any such incident in the last three decades.”
She added that there are strict SOPs for the female inmates section, and no unauthorized person can gain access to it.
IG Prisons Farooq Nazir stated that the arrested female PTI workers have not been given visitation rights as their identification parade is pending – as per law, no one can meet an inmate who has been sent to jail for an identification parade.
Voicepk.net tried to contact PTI spokespersons, including newly-appointed Secretary Information Rauf Hassan, multiple times but did not receive a response to our queries regarding proof of alleged abuse against female PTI inmates.