Wife of Pakistan's Imran Khan moved to jail on her request, lawyer says

Pakistan's former PM Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi arrive at the High Court in Lahore
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By Asif Shahzad

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) -A court in Pakistan granted a request on Wednesday by the wife of former Prime Minister Imran Khan to be moved to jail, her lawyer said, instead of the house arrest ordered by the government.

In her petition to the Islamabad High Court, Bushra Bibi had accused authorities of violating her privacy and serving contaminated food in her home cell, which she and her lawyers said was dominated by men, a charge the prison staff has denied.

Bibi says she has been detained in one room at Khan's hilltop mansion in Islamabad since the couple's January conviction on charges of illegally selling state gifts.

Through her lawyers Bibi had asked to be shifted to jail, which authorities complied with shortly after the court issued the order, her party and a local administration official Afzaal Ahmad said.

The court ordered authorities to shift her to Adyala jail in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, where Khan, 70, a former cricket superstar, is serving his 14-year sentence, his party said in a statement.

The party said Bibi's shift to jail will answer critics that her stay at home instead of prison was part of some deal to seek concessions from the government.

Pakistan army spokesperson Major General Ahmed Sharif said on Tuesday in response to a question that it was not possible to open talks for any deal with a party that had been involved in attacks against the state institutions.

He was referring to Khan party supporters storming and burning military installations on May 9 last year to protest against the former cricketer's arrest, saying those behind the attacks needed to seek forgiveness before asking for any negotiations.

Asad Qaisar, a close aide of Khan, told local ARY TV that any kind of apology was out of the question.

Khan was ousted from power in 2022, which he blamed on a conspiracy backed by the military after he had fallen out with powerful army generals.

The military has denied the accusation.

(Reporting by Asif Shahzad; Editing by Jamie Freed and Clarence Fernandez)