ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Human Rights Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada stressed the need for speedy construction of barracks and particularly early completion of ICT model prison project to resolve of issues of overcrowding in prisons.
Federal Minister for Human Rights Mian Riaz Hussain chaired a meeting of Implementation Commission on Prison Reforms constituted by the Islamabad High Court on Friday.
The Secretary Ministry of Human Rights, Director General (Human Rights), Joint Secretary Ministry of Interior, IGs Prison of KPK and Punjab, and other senior officers and representatives from Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of NHSR&C, Chief Commissioner Office, Islamabad and provincial home departments attended the meeting.
The Implementation Commission reviewed the progress in the implementation of reforms recommended for grievance redressal mechanisms in prisons across Pakistan; the issues of overcrowding and discriminatory treatment of prisoners as well as the phenomenon of custodial torture, rampant corruption and the steps taken by the respective Home Departments to sensitize and train the prison staff.
In the beginning, Secretary Human Rights briefed the participants on the agenda and desired from the jail authorities for early submission of the reports on reforms introduced on the recommendations of the commission with consolidated data for its onward submission to the IHC. Later on, DG Human Rights apprised the commission of the recent programs of training conducted by the Ministry of Human Rights for jail staff in provinces.
The Implementation Commission also discussed the issue of overcrowded barracks; changes in the oversight mechanism for tackling the menace of corruption and breaches of jail manual and rules and individual complaint management system for redressal of individual complaints. Provincial prison authorities showed their concern over the increasing number of under trial prisoners due to the delayed judicial procedures that was the major cause behind the administrative problems emerging in the jails.
In his concluding remarks, Minister said that Jail is the provincial subject and Provincial Home departments have to make rules, regulations and manuals in conformity with the international standards and commitments.
He added that Prison departments have always been taken as disciplined and most vital departments attached with the overall judicial system in the country but now they have been badly affected by the recurrent interferences.
He advised that home departments should be allocated sufficient funds to meet the needs of increasing number of inmates especially to tackle the huge number of under trial prisoners.
He further asked for expeditious acquisition of lands for construction of barracks and dormitories in the jails. He also emphasized upon the ICT administration for timely formulation of service rules for recruitment and trainings of permanent and trained human resource for ongoing project of ICT model prison.