ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Wednesday said that every inch of the country is sacred and Pakistan will never withdraw its army from Siachin unilaterally.
Talking to media after chairing a high level meeting, he castigated Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Chief Nawaz Sharif for suggesting a unilateral withdrawal of Pakistan Army from Siachen. The icy military post, often dubbed as the world’s highest battleground for its 5700 meters height, has been under the spotlight recently after an avalanche buried nearly 140 soldiers and civilian contractors there.
Malik said Pakistan will not initiate the withdrawal process, however it remained in favour of resolving the issue through negotiations.
The high level meeting reviewed law and order situation and security of prisons in light of a raid on the Bannu central prison on Sunday. The meeting was attended by Secretary Interior, Additional Secretary Interior, Provincial Home Secretaries, IGs, IG Prisons, IG FC and representatives of law enforcement agencies. The meeting decided several measures for enhancing security of prisons and improving performance of the staff.
After Bannu, jails get much needed reforms
Addressing the meeting, Malik said the salaries and perks of prisons staff would be made at par with regular police. Jails would be categorised as ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ and security cover would be determined as per category of the prison. A high power Jail Reform committee was also been constituted. Secretary Interior will head the committee, home secretaries and respective IGs would be the members of the committee. The committee has been assigned to report within four weeks, he said.
Security scanners would be installed in jails. Call record of prisoners would be maintained. Pakistan Ordinance Factories Wah would be asked to provide weapons to prison police on deferred payments. National Police Academy will provide training facilities to 150 to 200 master trainers of prison police. A quick reaction force would also be established in the vicinity of jails.
They decided that Rangers and or Frontier Constabulary would be deployed at the Adiala jail. Meanwhile, prison service would be declared as essential service. Financial packages would be offered to the jail officials who sacrifice their lives in line of duty.
In a move to minimise court house escapes, all ATA cases would be heard inside prisons.
Malik directed NADRA to conduct survey and scrutinise identity of all prisoners in the country for compilation of personal database of prisoners. He added that a summery would be moved soon to the Prime Minister for providing service cadre to jail officials.
A No-Objection Certificate for installing jammers in prisons was also issued.
Responding to a question, he admitted that Bannu Jail incident was intelligence failure.
Additionally he asked Afghanistan to seal the border with Pakistan.