CM Maryam announces release of 155 prisoners

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LAHORE:

Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif has announced three-month remission and the release of 155 prisoners across the province.

Addressing an Iftar with women prisoners in the Kot Lakhpat Jail, she said the 155 prisoners were being released after paying the Diyat amount of Rs150 million with the collaboration of philanthropists.

She said a video call facility would soon be provided in all jails of Punjab.

The CM said she remembered the time spent during her imprisonment.

“I was imprisoned in the death cell Chaki and faced a difficult time. My father was also imprisoned in the same jail but I was permitted to meet him once a week. Once I received a handwritten letter from my father, which stated that he was being taken to NAB. Someone in the jail told me that my father was feeling unwell and was being taken to hospital. It was a time of great difficulty,” she recalled.

She said she used to wonder what wrong she had committed for which she was kept in the jail and then used to pray.

She said she used to wait for the hearing of her appeal, only to come to know that the judge had gone on a three-week leave. “I couldn’t talk with my cancer patient mother from the Adiala Jail. I used to talk with my children for 20 minutes only. I was greatly worried about my 15-year-old daughter as she also underwent a difficult time. Someone told my father in a court about the condition of my mother and despite his repeated requests, no one allowed him to talk to his wife. I spent the difficult jail time with patience and perseverance. A person gets 24 hours to think and ponder in the jail,” she added.

The CM said some people went to jail due to their fault and others because of their circumstances. “Even innocent people have to face punishments due to shortcomings in the justice system. We would definitely bring improvements in the jail system along with relief for the prisoners. We are aware about the difficulties of prisoners and we would bring improvements in their food and other essential needs. A video call facility for the prisoners has been launched. I felt pleased to witness a young prisoner talking with his wife and daughter via video call. A prisoner is provided a moment of rejoicing while talking with his family members via video call,” she added.

CM Maryam Nawaz issued directives for dignified arrangements for meeting of the prisoners with their families.

“We want to bring reforms in the jails so as to make every prisoner a useful citizen of the society. We would enable the prisoners to stand on their feet by training them in skills in the jails,” she said.

The chief minister said four doctors would perform duty in the Central Jail Hospital and an operation theatre was also available.

“I am pleased that the prisoners can fast and spend Eid at home after the payment of Diyat. It is prayed that improvements come about in the justice system so that no innocent person can be subjected to unjust imprisonment.

The chief minister sat with the women prisoners and offered food to them.

She also visited the cell where her father Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had remained during imprisonment.

She inaugurated a 20-bed hospital for the rehabilitation of drug addicts in the jail and the video call facility for the prisoners.

Central Jail Lahore is the first prison providing the video call facility to the prisoners.

The CM met the jail staff members who had been deputed during her imprisonment and distributed gifts among the prisoners who were released.

On the direction of CM, every released prisoner was paid Rs15,000 and clothes with women also getting bangles.

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