Federal Ombudsman lauds prisons’ reforms in Punjab
Mailsi: Appreciating the measures taken for the improvement of prisons in Punjab, Federal Ombudsman Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi has said that the work being done for the welfare of prisoners in the province is worthy of emulation. He stated this while addressing a meeting at the Civil Secretariat here on Friday. The Chief Secretary Punjab, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), IG Prisons and officers concerned participated in the meeting.
Speaking at the meeting, the Federal Ombudsman said that the process of prisons’ reforms is underway in all provinces in the light of the directions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He said that “exemplary measures” are being taken to enhance capacity in prisons and to resolve the problems of jail inmates in Punjab. He said that work should be started after setting priorities in the development projects related to jails. The Chief Secretary Punjab said that the improvement of prisons is among the priorities of the provincial government and effective measures are being taken to address the problems of prisoners with a focus on provision of basic necessities for them.
The IG Prisons gave a detailed briefing at the meeting. He said that oversight and welfare committees had been established in all jails. He mentioned that 20-bedded hospitals would be completed in 17 jails by June for treatment of inmates addicted to drugs. He said that additional multi-storied barracks had been constructed in 10 jails at a cost of Rs 1706 million. He said that nine central jails had been connected with anti-terrorism courts for video link trials. He said that free legal aid and technical training were being provided to the prisoners in the jails while a Central Complaints Cell had also been established to redress the grievances of the prisoners.