KARACHI - Sindh Prisons Inspector General Muzafar Alam Siddiqui has said that state of prisons in the province has improved and soon they will be turned into institutions of reform through legislation by the provincial assembly.

He said this while addressing a reception organised in his honour at a local hotel that was attended by senior provincial officials and other dignitaries.

The inspector general said on the occasion that more than 19,000 prisoners are imprisoned in Sindh jails and this number is far beyond the capacity of these jails.

In just two prisons of Karachi more than 10,000 prisoners are locked up, he said. Muzafar told the audience that the nomenclature of the prisons in Sindh is being changed into correctional centres and the existing colonial era prisons act is being abandoned after enactment of Sindh Prison Act, 2018.

He said the bureaucracy lacked recourses at the time of creation of Pakistan, but worked with dedication to fortify the foundation of newly created country and the same spirit is needed today to deal with the problems being faced by the country.

Inviting Pakistan Excellence Club members to visit the prisons in the province and assist the disadvantaged poor prisoners legally, the prisons chief said that involvement of the community would be essential to bring improvement in the state of affairs at the prisons in the province.

Addressing the reception, the chief guest, Additional Inspector General of Traffic Police-Sindh Ghulam Qadir Thebo said that bureaucracy is the backbone of any country and no country can run its affairs smoothly without the dedicated services of the bureaucrats.

He said that bureaucracy had a huge responsibility on its shoulders and the government officers should be honest with their professions so as to address swiftly the grievances of the masses and to ensure rapid progress in the country. He revealed that there were times when even the staff of the prisons was vulnerable and there was no writ of the administration. But it was after the operation carried out in the prisons of Kharipur, Larkana, Sukkur, Hyderabad and Karachi that the situation came under administration’s control, he added. He said, “The more we will strengthen the institutions the more improved the state of affairs will be in the country and consequently it will help the masses.” He said that conviction rate in the county was only 7 to 10 percent and 90 percent prisoners got at large on different grounds. He said that basic human rights should be protected even in the prisons and prisoners should have an easy and swift access to the legal assistance as and when required.

Ghulam Qadir Thebo said the system of prisons of the Scandinavian countries is the best system of prisons in the world. He said the prime aim of prisons should be to rehabilitate the prisoners so as to ensure they become better and constructive citizens as and when they come out of prisons.