LAHORE  - The kidnapped sons of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and late Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer are in Afghanistan and the government is making efforts to get them free from the abductors with the assistance of Afghan government, Punjab government has informed the provincial assembly.

The Punjab Assembly session on Friday held with Deputy Speaker Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani in the chair with a delay of 55 minutes. Punjab Home Minister, Colonel (r) Shuja Khanzada answering queries during the Question Hour informed the house that sons of Gilani and Taseer were in Afghanistan. However, he didn’t share the details about efforts government was making to secure their release.

Answering other questing regarding working of his department, Shuja said that a total of 324 crimes of kidnapping for ransom took place in Punjab in the last two years, while the abductors and their networks mostly operate from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Most of these criminals, he said, belonged to Dargai (Khyber PK) while some were operating from Punjab’s Attock area, which is on the border of KPK province.

He informed the session that 3,000 CCTV cameras were being installed in Punjab in the first phase for security and addressing traffic issues, and his department would complete the target of installing 15,000 CCTV cameras in the province soon. While admitting that there was insufficient number of policemen to protect the people in the province, the minister said that ideally there should be one police constable on watch and ward of 450 people but at the present one constable was looking after the security of around 1,250 people. He added that home department would buy land from the next budget for the police posts working in the rented buildings.

Women members of provincial legislature staged protest by standing on their seats for increase in the salaries of the members, which were joined by their male colleagues in few seconds. The chair directed the secretaries of law and finance and the finance minister to appear in his chamber on Monday to ponder upon the matter. The Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board Bill 2014 could not be approved on the second consecutive day in the house due to lack of quorum.