Releasing prisoners of fate

I would like to draw the attention of the authorities towards a really neglected segment of our society; the jail prisoners. Despite the unfortunate lack of any digitally available data, it is estimated that there are tens of thousands of prisoners currently being held in jails across Pakistan. The alarming thing is that most of them have not been represented in the courts due to lack of resources to hire lawyers by themselves. There are NGOs which have taken up this task on charity basis to fight their cases of release, but their resources are limited compared to the monstrous challenge. Just the thought of the hopelessness these prisoners and their families would be facing send a chill down to spine. Apart from their own misery, it is also a huge risk for the society since these disgruntled citizens of Pakistan can resort to become criminals in the wake of vengeance from the state. While it is no more a secret that even the convicted criminals have access to cell phones and other privileges even inside the jails, imagine how it would cast the negative influence on these innocent prisoners. We recently saw a couple of news related to affairs of jail; one being the visit of the CJP Saqib Nisar scorning the jail administration for poor hygiene arrangements. But we are yet to see any concrete steps; either law making by Parliament or Executive orders for the release of these innocent prisoners. I would urge the authorities to immediately digitize the records of jails and make them available publicly so that there are no unknown prisoners inside the state. Also, our honourable CJP can release the long serving prisoners, who now are the victims themselves, through some executive orders. I am hopeful that this will be a great service to thousands of individuals and their families.
MUHAMMAD FAIZAN
Via email

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