President Mamnoon Hussain has underlined the need for taking concerted and effective measures to ameliorate the condition of women and children in prisons noting with appreciation that Wafaqi Mohtasib has taken practical steps in this respect.
The President said this while addressing Wafaqi Mohtasib’s function to provide help for vulnerable children and women in jails at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad on Tuesday. Federal Ombudsman Salman Faruqui and former Chief Justice of Sindh High Court Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid were also present during the function.
The President appreciated that Wafaqi Mohtasib on the direction of Supreme Court of Pakistan has formulated a comprehensive report to improve the plight of women and children in jails and hoped that implementation of this report would produce positive results by improving the condition of prisons. “In this regard, children in jails can be made an active member of society by imparting moral and religious education to them. Similarly, women prisoners can also play a positive role in the development of society if they are imparted skillful education”, remarked the President.
The President said that no government alone can undertake welfare work and welcomed the participation of private institutions and philanthropists for improving the condition of women and child prisoners. The President appreciated that Federal Ombudsman has constituted a committee co-headed by Ms. Asma Jahangir and Mian Muhammad Hanif to formulate a comprehensive strategy to help ameliorate the plight of women and children in prisons. The President also commended the business community, philanthropists and institutions including Chambers of Commerce and Universities in coming forward on the call of Wafaqi Mohtasib and making their contributions for the betterment of women and child prisoners.
The President called for close cooperation between the government and private institutions on public welfare initiatives in order to effectively address the issues of public concern. The President underscored that welfare of the people should be our first and topmost priority no matter which party is in power. President Mamnoon said that Zakat can be best utilized by paying fines for the release of those prisoners who cannot otherwise afford to pay on their own. The President emphasized that during the holy month of Ramadan the people should focus on welfare activities to serve the humanity.
President Mamnoon asked the Wafaqi Mohtasib to also direct his efforts for construction of more buildings in the prisons where the prisoners far exceed the capacity.
Speaking on the occasion, Wafaqi Mohtasib Salman Faruqui highlighted the condition of prisoners particularly the female and child prisoners. He also enumerated the contributions being made by philanthropists and educational institutions for providing relief and succor to the women and child prisoners throughout the country.
On the occasion, philanthropists including Zamurrad Khan, Mian Muhammad Hanif, Yasin Malik, S.K. Niazi, Mian Muhammad Hamid Javed and Malik Nadeem announced donations and gifts for female and child prisoners. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Chairman HEC and Vice Chancellors of COMSATS and Allama Iqbal Universities announced to provide educational facilities to female and child prisoners in the jails. Donations were also announced for payment of fines up to fifty thousand rupees of the poor prisoners so that they can be released from the prisons and celebrate Eid with their families at their homes. Provincial Inspector Generals of Prisons also attended the function.