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Dera jailbreak: CM admits intelligence, govt failure

Updated July 31, 2013

PESHAWAR, July 30: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has said that Dera Ismail Khan jailbreak is a major failure of the intelligence outfits and provincial home and tribal affairs department.

“Just one week back I was told that the security for jails had been improved in the province, but nobody shared intelligence report about possible attack on jail in Dera Ismail Khan,” he said while talking to journalists in the provincial assembly after casting his vote in the presidential election on Tuesday.

The chief minister expressed ignorance about an intelligence report in which quarters concerned were informed about a possible attack on the jail. He said that all institutions including home department did not perform well.

It is worth mentioning that provincial government had held intelligence agencies responsible for the Bannu jailbreak in April 2012 in which around 400 prisoners had escaped. The government had later conducted inquiry and suspended some senior officers and security staff of the jail.

Mr Khattak said that if inspector general prisons had received intelligence report about attack on the jail then he should have shared it with him. The chief minister is holding portfolio of home and tribal affairs department including prisons. He has also appointed MPA Malik Qasim as adviser on jails to assist him.

“This is very unfortunate incident and serious action will be taken against officials after completion of investigations,” the chief minister said. He said special branch and other agencies had started investigation in the jailbreak and final report would be made public very soon.

When asked about the number of hardened criminals escaped from the jail, Mr Khattak said that 30 to 35 most wanted persons were among the total 250 runaway prisoners.

He hinted at involvement of ‘big hands’ in the jailbreak, but did not name any organisation, group or individual.

“This is very strange that people came in pickup trucks, motorbikes, broke the jail and took away 250 prisoners easily,” the chief minister said, adding that no officer would be pardoned if negligence proved on his behalf. He said that federal interior minister should also visit the jail.

Mr Khattak said that deputy inspector general special branch and other senior officers were in Dera Ismail Khan to investigate the matter and he would also visit the jail on Wednesday. He said that he could not visit the jail on Tuesday because of bad weather.

Earlier, opposition leader in the assembly Sardar Mahtab Khan termed the Dera Ismail Khan jailbreak major failure on the part of the coalition government in the province. He told reporters that provincial government failed to ensure security of sensitive installations including prisons.

He said that despite intelligence reports about possible attack on jails, the government did not take precautionary measures to improve security for prisons. He said that government should admit its failure. Before, he said, Bannu jail was broken and a large number of prisoners had escaped.