Is the government reformable
March 30, 2019
Lessons for Pakistani mayors
March 30, 2019

Criminal Negligence or Calculated Connivance?
Citizens demand resignation of CM Sindh and Home Minister Sindh.

Success in ‘War against Terror’ is critically linked to a nation’s ability to control its mobile phone SIMs, vehicles, weapons and prisons. One or more of these four essential ingredients would always be found in every act of crime and militancy. The province of Sindh may have created its own unparalleled levels of mis-governance by demonstrating a near-total absence of controls over weapons, vehicles and prisons.

The escape of two under trial prisoners who belonged to the banned sectarian outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi from Karachi Central Prison is a case in point. The prisoners had not just established anti-jamming devices to counter the installed jammers but they had also stock-piled hundreds of prohibited mobile phones, gas cylinders, television sets, knives, tools and electronic devices. This could not have happened without a sustained and deep cooperative arrangement between the prisoners and the jail management.

A search carried out in Karachi Central Prison in June 2013 after the attack on the convoy of Justice Maqbool Baqar had revealed an identical cache of phones, electronic equipment and other prohibited items. Clearly there were no corrective actions taken. Criminal activities have since continued from behind the prison walls. Directions are given to outside accomplices to murder witnesses before they can give evidence in courts. Attack on Justice Baqar was also planned and executed from inside the same jail.

It is obvious that the jail management has itself become deeply interwoven with criminal activities culminating in serious crimes and escape of prisoners. The severity and scale of the criminal acts detected during the raid could not be a reality with out the collusion or negligence of the highest officials in police , bureaucracy and politics.

The media reports of the arrest of 12 jail officials for ‘negligence’ is an eye-wash and a standard operating procedure to hoodwink the public. Therefore we, as concerned citizens of Pakistan demand that:

1. The Honourable Chief Minister and the Home Minister Sindh should tender their resignations for the catastrophic failure of the jail management system and the escape of two most dangerous terrorists from the Karachi Central Jail.
2. The Home Secretary, IG Prisons, DIG Prisons, Senior Superintendent / Senior Superintendent Karachi Jail have failed to prevent the escape of dangerous terrorists and have therefore compromised the security and lives of the people of Pakistan. They must not be allowed to continue in their jobs as they no longer enjoy the trust that is needed for such sensitive assignments. A Joint Investigation Team may be appointed to determine their role ( negligence / collusion ) in the escape of prisoners and other criminal activities recently revealed in the Karachi Central Prison.
3. The Karachi Central Prison should be placed under the complete control and management of Sindh Rangers for a period of 6 months. This period should be utilized to enroll and train new staff and management for the Central Prison. The same exercise should be repeated to revamp all prisons in Sindh.
4. Keeping under-trial terrorists and murderers in jail for many years, amounts to creating potential vulnerabilities. The system needs to be radically reformed to reduce the trial period.

A state that cannot effectively restrain its most dangerous outlaws behind bars is a state woefully unprepared for a battle against terrorism, or to discharge its duty to protect law-abiding citizens.