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Pakistan: President asks govt to prepare plan for jail reforms


Islamabad : President Asif Ali Zardari Thursday advised the government to prepare a comprehensive plan for jail reforms in light of reports of Parliamentary Committees and national and international human rights bodies from time to time.

The President said this while chairing a presentation on jail reforms in Sindh province, which was attended among others by Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Chief Minister Sindh, Senator Rehman A. Malik, Interior Minister, M. Salman Faruqui Secretary General to the President, Kamal Majidullah SAPM on Water Resources, Haji Muzaffar Ali Shujra Minister for Prisons Sindh, Fazal-ur-Rahman Chief Secretary Sindh, Arif Ahmad Khan Home Secretary Sindh, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah IG Prisons Sindh and other senior government officials.

The President also directed for providing legal aid to destitute prisoners, training and education and improved service structure for jail officials.

Special attention must be accorded to improve the conditions in women and juvenile prisons, the President said.

The President also advised that the reports of the concerned committees of the parliament and human rights bodies on the subject of jail reforms be analyzed and their recommendations be kept in view while undertaking prison reforms.

The President while taking the presentation asked for Public-Private Partnership to improve the condition of jails particularly jail accommodation and the quality of food and other facilities provided to the prisoners.

The President also directed for devising such a mechanism in prisons to make the prisoners responsible and useful citizens of the society after their release from jails.

The President directed the provincial government to upgrade the old jails and add new barracks to existing ones to overcome the problem of congestion and overcrowding in jails.

Chief Secretary Sindh Mr. Fazal-ur-Rahman gave a detailed presentation on the status of Jail reforms in Sindh.

The meeting was informed that significant steps have been taken by the provincial government to develop the infrastructure of jails and improve the living conditions of prisoners.

The meeting was further informed that to overcome the congestion in Jails a new prison at Nowshera Feroze has already started functioning and three more prisons at Ghotki, Mirpurkhas and Thatta would be functional within the coming 3 to 12 months.

Barracks for additional 1,000 and 500 prisoners are being constructed in Landhi and central Jail Karachi respectively and 70% work on these barracks has been completed, the meeting was informed.

The Chief Secretary said that overcrowding was the most serious problem and these steps had been taken to relieve the pressure.

The presentation said that government is arranging technical and vocational training for prisoners and survey of deserving women is being carried out in all jails by BISP.

The government will appoint psychiatrists in each prison and will also provide a personal hygiene kit to each prisoner on monthly basis, the presentation said.