By Iftikhar Firdous

PESHAWAR: The total number of prisoners in jails across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa exceeds capacity by 47 per cent, more than 3,000 madrassas in the province have been geo-tagged, and records of Afghan refugees maintained by the Safron ministry and UNHCR are unreliable.

These are just some of the findings in the report Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Home and Tribal Affairs Department’s first-ever report of its attached departments.

A copy of the report, available with The Express Tribune, has extensive details and official statistics on policing, prisons, prosecution and reclamation and probation.

Prisons


K-P prisons have a total capacity of around 7,547 while the total number of prisoners is 11,061, of these 10,767 are male and 294 are women. Some 70 per cent of them are under trial and cost the provincial exchequer Rs375.9 million per annum. Peshawar is the biggest of challenges for the prisons department, states the report.

The facility houses 2,704 prisoners – some 24% of the total number of prisoners in K-P – in prison with an authorized capacity of just 450, or six times the total capacity.

“There are many reasons, but the main one is the high number of under trial prisoners…besides, wherever an Afghan national [lacking valid travelling documents] is arrested, their first destination is the Central Prison Peshawar,” a senior official from the provincial prison department told The Express Tribune.

Prosecution


Only two per cent of the cases registered in 2016 involved murders. Similarly, the entire serious crimes category represents just 10 per cent of total cases registered, as opposed to nearly 27 per cent of cases relating to local and special laws, 15 per cent to arms act violations, 12 per cent to narcotics, and four per cent to road accidents.

This means that 58 per cent of the total cases tried related to non-violent offences. Out of the total 56,202 other offences, 36,091 cases were never sent to the Directorate of Prosecution, but were submitted to the courts directly and were summarily disposed of.

These 56,202 cases could also be assumed to relate to local and special laws. This additional number pushes the total share of non-violent offence cases to around 90 per cent. This would suggest that most citizens are most concerned by these four categories of offences, but could also be interpreted as a preference to go for ‘easier’ cases as a means to show good performance, the report suggests.

Some of the trends that emerge in data from the last three years is that on average, prosecutors received around 77% of the cases, while the remaining 23% were either summarily disposed of or discharged because of weak investigation or weak evidence. The overall conviction rate in courts is 65 per cent for 2016, which is a 12 per cent improvement on 2015.

Similarly 86% of the cases were concluded within the year, while 14 per cent were carried forward. It must be kept in mind that most of the disposal as well as convictions take place in the courts of judicial magistrates, so improved conviction rates do not necessarily mean that there is a corresponding improvement in crime scene management, investigation, or forensics management.

On the other hand, the acquittal rate in anti-terrorism courts was 52 per cent, with a conviction rate of just 28 per cent. In the other 20 per cent, suspects either absconded or were untraceable.

Police


The report states that following the tragic attack on Army Public School, numerous military and police operations were conducted. Due to these operations and implementation of the National Action Plan, terrorism-related incidents declined by 67% in 2016 as compared to 2014.

The report lists 1,001 terrorism incidents in 2014, which drops to 422 in 2015, and 326 in 2016.

The report states that the elementary and secondary education department has been tasked with the registration and regulation of seminaries. It adds that the province has a total 3,792 seminaries categorised into three groups.

A massive 1,138 seminaries – 30 per cent – of the total are unregistered, while three were destroyed.

Police have registered a total 34 cases of hate speeches and distribution of hate material, for which 71 persons were arrested and 613 items regarded as hate material were seized.

The police have detained a total 15,018 suspected Afghans and 8,008 FIRs have been registered against illegal Afghans under the foreigners act. A total 104,069 suspects have been arrested in snap checking and 9,378 arms have been recovered. Similarly, a total 10,506 search and strike operations have been conducted in which 60,507 suspects were arrested.

Peshawar recorded the most rape cases with 40 and is followed by Mansehra with 24 cases, Swat with 18, Haripur with 16, and Swabi with 15 reported rape cases.

In Peshawar, 17 cases of extortion were also reported, followed by Bannu with 14 cases, Kohat with eight, Swabi with seven, and Hangu with five.

Afghan refugees


According to the ministry of States and Frontier Regions (Safron), there are 1.2 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan, while another one million are unregistered. But data at Torkham shows that more than 1.9 million people had gone to Afghanistan in the year 2016 alone. Although, the report says that the figure may be discounted by the fact that some of the people who went to Afghanistan in 2016 were Pakistani, but it remains unusually high in relation to the ‘official’ population.

The documents also show that net legal migration to Pakistan was positive in each of the last two years, with a net gain of 24,146 people, but ‘undocumented’ migration was negative in the same time period, with almost 1.35 million Afghans leaving the country in 2015 and 2016 combined.

Source:
https://tribune.com.pk