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Senate body for provision of legal assistance to female prisoners

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Committee on Narcotics Control on Monday asked the government to provide legal assistance to female prisoners of the Adiyala Jail. The committee was informed that 28 female prisoners were being kept behind the bar for carrying little quantity of narcotics. It was further informed that they were not provided with any legal assistance for the last four years. Talking to the media at the Parliament House after the meeting, chairperson of the committee Kalsoom Parveen said parliamentarians, the media, NGOs and other human rights institutions should also help such women. She said out of those 28 female prisoners, over 14 had their minor children with them. She said the government and the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) should address the root causes of such crimes instead of registering more and more cases.

The committee also criticized the role of the ANF officials deployed at the international airports. Senator Kalsoom Parveen said that low ranks officials of the ANF harras the people at airports and asked irrelevant questions from the passengers.

The committee asked the ANF to deploy major or colonel level officials at airports to avoid inconvenience to passengers. The ANF representative informed the committee that the strength of the ANF was insu- fficient and it was facing problems. However, he assured possible measures to avoid complaints against the ANF in future.

Kalsoom Parveen told the media that in the next meeting the minister for law, justice and human rights, the IGPs of the provinces, the IGs prisons and law secretaries would be summoned to discuss the issue of female prisoners.
Source: The News
Date:9/2/2008

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