With the rapid increase in serious crimes, the requirement for a high security prison is increasing. Most of the present day prisons are located within or close to cities and do not have adequate facilities, both for prisoners as well as security staff. Consequently, there have been a number of jail breaks or attempted jail breaks especially in prisons were terrorists were housed. In the present day environment, the security of jails, especially where terrorists are imprisoned, is a complex task requiring additional manpower, equipment and resources. Each province has to allocate a lot of resources in trying to make jails secure.

It is therefore essential that a central high security jail is established, where terrorists and prisoners involved in serious crimes can be imprisoned and tried. The prison should be located in an isolated place, designed and constructed, keeping in view the present day requirements and equipped with modern security equipment, weapons and good medical facilities.

An ideal location for such a jail is Astola Island located off the Baluchistan coast between Pasni and Ormara. The Island is uninhabited and is 6 kilometers long and 2.5 kilometers wide. The nearest land is about 25 kilometers. The remote location and difficult access would also limit publicity and provide security to the judiciary involved in trials. The only approach is through sea making any jail break a complex operation involving attackers skilled in both land and sea activities.

With a naval base at Ormara and a PAF Airbase at Pasni, the prison can be adequately protected from any attack from sea without allocating additional resources. When things improve in a few years, the island is ideally suited and can be made into a tourist resort with the prison becoming a tourist attraction.

FAYYAZ UR REHMAN,

Islamabad, July 16.