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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Punjab Govt not to implement remission in prisoners’ sentences: Ch. Nisar

ISLAMABAD,: Defying the presidential order regarding grant of remission of one-fourth sentences to prisoners’ Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said Punjab Government would not implement the order at all.

“The remission has been given by Aiwan-e-Sadr for a specific purpose to set free a person having close links with Presidency”, Chudhry Nisar told newsmen at Punjab House here on Monday.

The opposition leader said the haste in which the President announced remission in sentences has raised many questions. He pointed out that for the first time in the history of the country, one-fourth sentences have been waived off which had been awarded by the courts

He said this specific person was sent to jail by the judiciary and his release will be a flagrant violation of the court orders. “This remission was announced only to release a convicted officer of the FIA”, he asserted.

Nisar said the remission in Prisoners sentences announced by the President after the passage of the 18th amendment by the National Assembly to celebrate the event was pre-mature. He pointed out that the 18th amendment is yet to pass through several stages including a vote from the Senate.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan disclosed that telephone calls were made from Aiwan-e-Sadr to Punjab Government and direct calls were also made to Adiala Jail conveying the message for the release of this person.

To a query, leader of the opposition said the PML-N at the political and Punjab Government levels was of the view that by accepting remission in sentences in this way would be a contempt to the orders of the Supreme Court and in a way collaborating with the Presidency in non compliance of courts decisions. He said the decision was made without taking the Provincial Governments into confidence which is against democratic traditions.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the Punjab Government would send this matter back to the Federal Government with its reservations as release of prisoners ahead of completion of their sentences would create law and order problem.

He said by this order of the President 3631 prisoners would benefit as their one-fourth sentence has been written off for the first time in the history of the country.

Leader of the opposition said that 736 prisoners would get release as a result of this remission. Of them 376 have been awarded imprisonment under Hadood Ordinance and Narcotics while 52 were about theft, kidnapping and dacoities. Similarly 59 persons imprisoned under section 307 would also get freedom. Other people to get remission have been punished on charges of fraud, illegal immigration, army act, keeping unlicenced weapons and so on.

Nisar Ali Khan has said that the PML-N would hold negotiations with the ANP and PPP to change the name of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa to meet the demands of people of Hazara who have been protesting over the new name.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that during PML-N meeting when the issue was being debated, there was a proposal to rename the NWFP as Hazara Pakhtoonkhwa while the ANP was adamant over Abaseen. He said there was no opposition from the Establishment over the 18th amendment in the constitution.

He admitted that they could not fully grasp the sensitivities of the people of Hazara over the renaming of the Province. He said when peaceful protests turn violent; vested interests try to take advantage for their own benefits.

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