LAHORE: Special Assistant to the Punjab Chief Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has claimed that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior incarcerated leader and former defence minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif is “begging” for better facilities in jail.
“A thug (Khawaja Asif) from Sialkot is in jail these days. When he was in power, he used to make unnecessary hue and cry but now he is begging for facilities,” the chief minister’s aide claimed while speaking to the media during her visit to District Jail Sialkot on Sunday.
Dr Awan while informing the media about the operation carried out by the local government in Sialkot regarding illegal encroachments in Cantt Housing said that the owners of Cantt Housing are Musarat Asif, wife of Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Tawheed Akhtar, Zahid Maqbool, Shahid Maqbool, Naveed Akhtar and Saira Iqbal daughter of Muhammad Iqbal, who got approved 137 kanals in 2017.
Under the Punjab Housing Scheme Rules 2010, she said, the scheme owners transferred the area of roads, parks and public buildings to the local government. However, an illegal commercial plaza was constructed on the site of the park on about 13 marlas and the owners were issued several notices by the department to demolish the (illegal) building but they turned a deaf ear to the notices.
She said the building was finally sealed by the concerned authorities but the owners of the said housing scheme took the law into their own hands and broke the seals. She said that action has been taken as per rules and the illegal building that was built on the public park had been demolished.
While listening to the problems of women prisoners, the SACM assured them of providing facilities and including legal aid and disclosed that the Punjab government is making efforts to introduce video trial of prisoners. At present, she further revealed that there are 62 death row inmates in Sialkot District Jail while 265 incarcerated prisoners including three foreign inmates, 43 civil inmates, 32 women and 10 children. The total number of prisoners with 1,488 detainees is 1,872, she added.
Dr Firdous said that a multi-storey barracks is being constructed at a cost of Rs 45 million to increase the capacity of the jail besides washroom and laundry block at a cost of Rs 2 million and a 20-bed hospital for drug addicts at a cost of Rs 20 million.
She said that the inmates of 24 jails across the province have been provided with the facility of Punjab PC Foundation’s funds, adding that anti-corona counters have also been set up in all the jails.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021