ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari has been given additional facilities like television, newspapers, books and ice boxes for keeping his medicines on court’s orders at his prison cell in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail, The Express Tribune has learnt.
He was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in June after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) recalled the pre-arrest bail granted to him and his sister Faryal Talpur in the multi-billion fake bank accounts case.
The PPP co-chairman has also been provided with medical staff to regularly monitor his health condition including blood-pressure and sugar level. He, however, was not given the air conditioning facility as no such directions were issued by the medical board that examined him at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) last week.
Moreover, physiotherapy technicians have also begun examining the former president on a daily basis from Tuesday, the same day the accountability court, hearing his case, had sought details of the facilities being provided to him in jail.
The court issued directives on an application seeking better facilities for the PPP supremo in jail.
On August 19, Zardari’s counsel Sardar Latif Khosa lamented before the court that his clients were ill-treated in jail. He contended before AC-I Judge Muhammad Bashir that since his client had been holding the President Office and currently he was member parliament, the Constitution allowed him extra facilities for a lifetime.
Last week, the former president had to spend a day at Pims after his health deteriorated in Adiala prison. He was admitted to the cardiac ward of the hospital.
According to hospital sources, the medical team had suggested some tests and physiotherapy to the PPP co-chairman, who had complained of back pain and weakness before being taken to the Islamabad hospital.
Zardari’s party came down hard on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government over the treatment he was receiving under NAB’s custody at Adiala.
Sindh Minister for Information, Archives and Labour Saeed Ghani strongly criticised the move to shift Zardari back to prison despite being ill.
Ghani said Faryal Talpur was treated in a similar ‘indecent’ manner when she was shifted to prison from the hospital on the eve of Eidul Azha. He added that the production order issued by the Sindh Assembly was also denied. “This was clear violation of rules and regulations,” he said in a statement issued earlier this week.