LAHORE   -  As many as 657 poor prisoners languishing in Punjab jails for years will be able to celebrate Eid with their loved ones as the Punjab government has waived their fine and Diyat.

An official handout issued on Sunday termed it a revolutionary step taken on the instructions of Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.  “As per directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the process of setting free prisoners from prisons of Punjab who were detained due to non-payment of fines has been started. As many as 657 prisoners across Punjab were unable to pay their due amount of fine,” said the handout. The chief minister responded promptly to directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan and arranged a donation of Rs30.82 million from affluent people and set 514 prisoners free.

According to the official release, over 140 prisoners would be freed before Eid after paying their fine amount worth Rs22.30 million. The chief minister said that fine amount of poor prisoners would be paid by the government and they would be able to cherish their freedom and celebrate Eid with their families. He stated that the Punjab government was working on the agenda of the welfare of prisoners along with the other segments of the society. He said he had visited prisons across Punjab in order to get the real picture so that welfare steps could be taken according to ground realities.

RAILWAYS MINISTER CALLS ON CM

Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad called on Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar here on Sunday.  Matters of mutual interest, public welfare projects and political situation came under discussion during the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that past governments promoted the culture of nepotism instead of merit. “Due to their wrong policies, national resources were damaged and the public faced many issues. Past rulers ruthlessly looted national resources in the name of development projects and neglected basic necessities. The menace of corruption made foundations of the country hollow that is why our prime focus is war against corruption. There is no room for corruption in new Pakistan and those doing corruption have a dark future,” he said.  He said that corruption-free Pakistan of Prime Minister Imran Khan has now become voice of every Pakistani. “The current government has promoted austerity at every level. The government of PTI believes in supremacy of law and we are performing our duties according to merit and justice,” he said. He assured that resources will not be restricted to specific areas as being done in the past and “we will provide uniform development opportunities to every area”. He said, “Selfless service of the public is our prime aim and we will achieve it at any cost. We have set an example of reforms in different sectors within a short period of time and Allah has bestowed us with the chance to serve the humanity. We will make the best use of it.”

SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS

Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has directed the police and the administration to make foolproof security arrangements across the province for the martyrdom day of Hazrat Ali (may God be pleased with him). Passing directions to the provincial cabinet committee on law and order, the chief minister said that every step should be taken to protect lives and properties of people and maintain law and order. He said that law enforcement agencies need to stay alert and strict monitoring of processions should be ensured. He said the security plan should be implemented at any cost. He said, “Our only preference is maintenance of law and order in the region and necessary resources will be utilised for this purpose. Furthermore, police officers should stay in the field and make officials perform their duties vigilantly in order to foil nefarious designs of anti-state elements.” He said that all departments should develop a close coordination and a comprehensive monitoring mechanism to ensure foolproof security. Every possible step should be taken to ensure foolproof security. The cabinet committee on law and order should ensure implementation of the code of conduct at any cost, he said.