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MUZAFFARABAD: There are 21 woman inmates in seven prisons of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) who are being provided all facilities enshrined in the jail manual.

This information was provided by Chaudhry Mohammad Ishaq, AJK minister for prisons, to the AJK Legislative Assembly while responding to a question by treasury member Nasima Wani.

“As of February 27, 2019, there are 21 female prisoners in seven jails who are being provided food, medical treatment and other facilities in accordance with the jail manual,” Mr Ishaq said.

He informed the house that three female wardens each were serving in the central prisons of Muzaffarabad and Mirpur while two female wardens each were deployed in the remaining five prisons.

He said one of the female inmates in Mirpur had a four-year-old baby with her who was being provided milk, etc., as additional food on the advice of the doctor in the light of the jail manual.

Mr Ishaq said that prisoners were also being provided medical facilities in case of health problems and some other facilities on humanitarian grounds.

On a supplementary question by opposition lawmaker Saghir Chughtai, the minister told that the aforementioned minor girl was also being imparted education within and outside the prison. The LA session was presided over by speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider said that question hour was the essence of assembly’s proceedings and he had in the same context advised all cabinet members to ensure that replies to the questions were tabled in the house in time.

Law minister Farooq Ahmed Tahir vowed that in the ongoing session answers to all questions would be provided to the respective questioners.

Senior minister Chaudhry Tariq Farooq maintained that repetition of same questions was an issue that also needed to be looked into.

In this regard, he claimed that he had thrice received same question, even though he had already furnished its reply.

“The government responds to all questions with sincerity. Nevertheless, if any respectable member is not satisfied with the answer he can resort to the respective house committee,” he said. Opposition member Abdul Majid Khan expressed the hope that after the chair’s ruling this problem would not arise again.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2019