An elaborate ceremony was organised by the Multan district jail to inform convicts about their rights and duties according to Islam.
The ceremony was organised by the Express Media Group on Monday and was aimed at teaching prisoners about the best way to spend their time during their imprisonment. “The key is reform. If these men have committed crimes and are in jail then this time needs to be spent in contrition and focusing on self improvement,” said Express promotion cell manager Nasir Sheikh. Sheikh said that the organisation would continue to arrange similar events in all major jails across the province.
The Multan district jail has 1,059 prisoners and nine of these prisoners have masters degrees in different subjects and 11 are graduates. “We have distributed books in English and Arabic according to their literacy level. There are books on ethics and encyclopaedias,” he said.
A total of 60 Quran encyclopaedias in English Arabic and Urdu languages have also been distributed among the prisoners.
A large number of religious scholars were also invited to the ceremony. Islamic research foundation chairperson Abdul Hakim addressed the prisoners and told them to regard their confinement as a rebirth.
“This is the chance for all these men to change their lives and improve themselves. So that when they are released they leave here as different men,” he said.
“Even in the prison, you all must defend your soul against crime. Islam has rules for prisoners and how they should be treated and how they should treat others,” he said. “According to the Quran, the obligations of prisoners remain to value their life as a human being and realise the importance of the lives of others,” he said.
Superintendent Police Ijaz Asghar told The Express Tribune that the jail organised 2-hour Quran classes for the prisoners daily.
Sheikh said that books and new clothes had also been distributed among prisoners for Eid on the occasion.
“These people need to be reformed and taught self improvement while we have the chance and they are in prison. They can be released into society as reformed and changed men or as even more hardened criminals. We need to ensure that it is the former,” Sheikh said.
Abdul Hakim said that the police and civil society needed to help the inmates and teach them technical skills. “They need vocational training as well as academic education. It is our duty to help them resettle in society,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2011.
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