According to a survey report, Pakistan has 99 operational prisons having almost 50 thousand prisoners however, there are more than 80,000 prisoners in Pakistani jails living with the lack of basic prison facilities and prisoner rights.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Imran Khan made an appreciable effort by constituting a committee that will examine and suggest a workable governance system for the administration. They also made sure to maintain basic prisoner rights and reviewed post-release programs for women.
After the decision of the Supreme Court, Imran khan gave the order for the liberation of women prisoners on humanitarian grounds. For that purpose, he asked the authorities to provide instant reports regarding the foreign women prisoners and the ones on death row.
PM asked for the release of the women prisoners who are under trial and conviction, to satisfy the benchmark of the Supreme Court’s verdict which was passed in April.
“I have asked for immediate implementation of SC order 299/2020 for release of Under Trial women prisoners and convicted women prisoners who fulfill criteria of SC order,” Imran Khan posted on twitter after a convocation with Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan, Minister of Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari and Barrister Ali Zafar.
He further added, “I have also asked for immediate reports on Foreign women prisoners and women on death row for humanitarian consideration”.
In the Cabinet meeting which was held on Tuesday, PM put emphasis on the formation and acceptance of proposals given by AGP. According to these received proposals, the accused person who is under non-prohibitory clauses or offenses carrying less than three years’ sentence may be considered for bail, but it should not be accepted in the cases which include the malicious acts against children and women, except the people with some disability or illness should be accepted.
In addition to this, the Supreme Court said that the bail should be approved in the case of under trial persons who are 55-years old or more than that.
AGP has declared that the prisoners, under conviction, who have concluded their sentences but still in jail because they are unable to pay minor payments for their freedom and the women as well as the immature convicts who have served 75 percent of their verdict and have no previous acts of conviction can be released.
To pay for the fines of women prisoners, the Prime Minister has commanded the provinces and several authorities to gather funds through Bait-ul-Mal as well as from social welfare organizations to get them discharged from imprisonment.
The recent report of Justice Project Pakistan had disclosed that there is only space for 57,742 prisoners in Punjab, Sindh, KPK and Balochistan, whereas, there are 77,275 prisoners currently present in the prisons of the country, which is thirty-four percent larger than the authorized capacity.
The step taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan should be appreciated as he has become a savior for the women in prisons. Not only he heard their plight but also made sure to pay their bails and petty fines.
Added to this, he has revitalized the prison system by taking off huge overloads of prison inmates. This way, the fund distribution will regulate, and a better rehabilitative environment may be provided to those serving a sentence.