Ex-PM Imran Khan claims wife Bushra Bibi poisoned in sub-jail

Islamabad: Pakistan’s jailed former prime minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said his wife and former first lady Bushra Bibi was poisoned while incarcerated at his private residence here which was turned into a sub-jail, emphasising that the army chief should be held responsible if she is harmed.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader during the hearing of the 190 million pound Toshakhana corruption case in Adiala jail informed Judge Nasir Javed Rana that there had been an attempt to poison the former first lady and added that she had marks on her skin and tongue as a side effect of the “poisoning”.

“I know who is behind it,” The Express Tribune newspaper quoted the 71-year-old PTI founder as saying.

Khan said that if any harm came to Bushra, the Pakistan Army chief (General Asim Munir) should be held responsible as members of an intelligence agency were controlling everything at his Bani Gala residence in Islamabad and Adiala jail in Rawalpindi.

Khan further urged the court to order 49-year-old Bushra’s medical examination by Dr. Asim of Shaukat Khanum Hospital, adding that he and the party did not trust the doctor who examined her earlier.

He also urged to have an inquiry into the matter of Bushra’s alleged poisoning.

Following the former premier’s request, the court directed Khan to submit a detailed application about the former first lady’s medical examination.

Talking to the media after the hearing, Bushra said rumours regarding her being an “American agent” were circulating in the party and that she was poisoned through a popular toilet cleaner.

She said “three drops” of a popular toilet cleaner were added to her food, claiming that a person’s health deteriorates after a month of consumption.

“My eyes swell up, I feel pain and discomfort in my chest and stomach and food and water also taste bitter. Some suspicious substance was mixed in honey earlier and now the toilet cleaner was mixed in my food,” claimed the former first lady.

“I was told by someone in jail about what was added to my food. I will not reveal any names,” she said.

Bushra informed the court that she had been kept decently at the Bani Gala sub-jail but added that she was not allowed to open the windows for a while.

Earlier, PTI claimed Bushra was fed “poisonous food” during her incarceration, asserting that she had been in severe pain.

A PTI spokesperson expressing concerns regarding “serious threats” to Bushra Bibi’s life while in detention said in a statement: “Bushra’s health and life are being seriously endangered by the denial of her constitutional right to medical examination.”The spokesperson further alleged that Bushra Bibi’s family had been barred from visiting her, a move they deemed to be a violation of both the Constitution and jail regulations.

The statement asserted the restriction was part of a “deliberate plan” to cause harm to her.

Earlier in January, Khan and Bushra Bibi were sentenced to 14 years of jail in the Toshakhana corruption case about the illegal sale of state gifts which the former premier received during his term.

Toshakhana is a department under the cabinet division in Pakistan that stores gifts and other valuables received by officials. The officials must report all the gifts they receive to the department.

Khan was lodged in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi while Bushra Bibi was incarcerated at Khan’s Bani Gala home after it was declared a sub-jail.

On Bushra Bibi’s conviction, Khan’s PTI party had said that she had no link to the case and her conviction was only an effort to further pressurise the former prime minister.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of PTI, Barrister Gohar Khan said the former First Lady of Pakistan, Bushra Bibi, is being politically victimised.

“She is being kept in isolation, there are serious concerns of her being poisoned. Chairman Imran Khan has expressed similar concerns regarding his wife’s health. The powerful circles of the country will be held accountable for any misadventure,” the party quoted him as saying in a post on X.

Since his removal from power in a no-confidence motion in April 2022, the cricketer-turned-politician has been convicted in at least four cases, including the cipher case.