The government of Pakistan's Punjab province has asked Kot Lakhpat jail authorities to remove the air conditioner from the prison cell of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
"The following directions of Prime Minister have been intimated for implementation and report. No preferential treatment be given to the criminals and money launders in the prison in Punjab," stated a letter written by Punjab Home Department to the inspector general of the prison on July 17.
The 69-year-old former Prime Minister was convicted in the Al Azizia Steel Mills case and sentenced to seven years in jail. He is currently serving the sentence in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail.
Express Tribune reported the government's order days after Prime Minister Imran Khan told a gathering of Pakistani diaspora in the US that Nawaz Sharif eats home-made food in his air-conditioned jail with television in it and said he will ensure the "criminal" does not receive such treatment.
"Nawaz Sharif wants food from home in jail, he wants air conditioning in jail. But in a country where half the population has no air conditioning or TV, what kind of punishment would this be?," said Imran Khan on July 21, while addressing Pakistani diaspora during his three-day visit to the United States.
"I am going to go back and make sure there is no air conditioning or TV for Nawaz Sharif who is a criminal. I know (PML-N leader) Maryam Bibi will make some noise, but I say to her, return the money. It's as simple as that," he added.
Nawaz Sharif's daughter and PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz said that the former prime minister was provided air conditioning after doctors advised a comfortable room temperature for him.
She also attacked Mr Khan and said this move shows "shallowness" of the prime minister.
"Even the team of doctors they (government) put together for Nawaz Sharif advised a comfortable room temperature but our prime minister goes to America and announces that he will take away the facility of AC from Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif," she said.
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