LAHORE - The health condition of Khadija Shah, a prominent fashion designer and the daughter of former finance minister reportedly deteriorated during her detention in ordinary class of the Lahore Central Kot Lakhpat Jail here on Sunday.
According to jail sources, Khadija Shah, who is the granddaughter of former army chief Asif Nawaz Janjua, had been suffering from stomach pain for the last two consecutive days. The sources also claimed that the jail authorities have restrained her from meeting her family besides prohibiting food from her home. Khadija Shah is in jail on a 7-day judicial remand as she has been alleged as one of the prime suspects of the arson attack on Jinnah House and inciting people to violence. At Kot Lakhpat jail, she has been locked in the women’s barrack along with senior PTI leader Dr Yasmin Rashid.
After she eventually surrendered to police following several failed attempts to arrest her, Khadija Shah was presented before the Anti-Terrorism Court on May 24 in the case of arson and vandalism on Jinnah House Lahore. The court had sent her to jail for 7 days for an identification parade. The court had ordered the police to conclude the process of identification parade and present her again on May 30. Speaking to The Nation, a senior official from Kot Lakhpat jail refuted the news circulating regarding Khadija Shah’s deteriorating health and said that her health was perfectly stable and she was being provided facilities being provided to other prisoners.
When asked regarding the facilities that are provided to female prisoners in the ordinary class also known as C class, he informed that every female prisoner is provided a bed ‘Charpai’ along with a pillow for sleep. Besides that, air-coolers are also installed in every barrack of the prison in the jail in summer season. Apart from this, the women’s ward has a separate female deputy superintendent, along with a psychiatrist, and availability of a regular female medical superintendent is also ensured round-the-clock to address medical issues of the female prisoners. Speaking further, he confided to The Nation that Khadija Shah and Yasmin Rashid were locked in the same barrack of the ordinary class and elaborated that every prisoner was locked up in the ordinary class category when the prisoner arrives in jail unless the government directs the jail administration to provide exceptional cases with better class (B) category. Adding to this, he further said there’s a certain criterion which prisoners have to meet to be included in a better class according to law. The law of prison category states prisoners only with a bachelor’s degree, a government employee besides that he/she should be a taxpayer can avail better class facility in the prison during the time of his/her captivity.
PRISON CLASS SYSTEM IN PAKISTAN
The Pakistan Prisons Rules 1978 state that convicted prisoners are divided into two categories; ordinary class and better class. There are two types of categories for prisoners under-trial including better class - B class - and ordinary class - C class. Better class is provided to those under-trial prisoners who acquire at least bachelor’s education, good social status besides he/ she should be a taxpayer, while prisoners who do not meet the required criteria are included in the ordinary class.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BETTER CLASS AND ORDINARY CLASS
There are multiple differences in both the classes of the prison system in terms of facilities, the prisoner detained in a better class is provided with multiple facilities such as ‘Charpai’, table and chair, air-cooler, 3-time meal, separate toilet along with access to newspaper. On the other hand, the prisoners of an ordinary class are meted out with ordinary treatment and facilities as prescribed in jail manual such meals thrice a day besides Charpai and a common toilet.
Meanwhile, Punjab Minister for Information Aamir Mir has termed the allegations by a certain political party as false and misleading that women involved in terrorist attacks on military and civilian installations on May 9 were ill-treated in prisons of Punjab. In a statement, the minister said that a so-called political party was trying to garner false sympathies of the public by spreading poisonous propaganda about women for its nefarious purposes in which it will never succeed as the people have seen the real face of the so-called political party that patronizes miscreants.
Aamir Mir said that law enforcement agencies had arrested a total of 32 women, out of which 21 have been released and 11 women are currently on judicial remand in the Punjab jails. He said that the women involved in the incidents of May 9 and imprisoned in Punjab jails were being treated according to the law and the women prisoners themselves are testifying to the good treatment by the law enforcement agencies. He said that the person who planned the May 9 mischief was trying to mislead the public as before but this attempt to gain cheap sympathy through false propaganda will also fail because the people have seen the real face of the patron of the miscreants. Aamir Mir said that Islam teaches us to honour and respect women and the government is the biggest bearer of women’s rights and we cannot even imagine mistreatment of women. He said that action was being taken according to law against women involved in terrorist activities.