LAHORE  -     No medical camp was set up at any jail in Punjab over the last six months to check inmates for AIDS, the Punjab Assembly was told on Thursday.

Replying to questions about the Prisons Department, Minister Zawar Hussain Warriach said camps to detect AIDS patients in jails were set up during the tenure of the last government, but no such exercise was undertaken over the last six months.

However, he said the present government is scheduled to hold camps for AIDS and other patients and provide medical care to patients in March.  To a question about innocent children being jailed with their mothers, the minister said that a child up to six is entitled to living with the mother and after that the kid was shifted to legal heirs or to SOS Village or given in custody of the Child Protection Bureau. He said that Tevta had been involved to provide skill training in different technical disciplines to prisoners.

Moreover, schools have been established to cater to educational needs of prisoners, he added. The session started an hour and 45 minutes behind the schedule with Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Khosa in the chair.

It remained quite smooth proceedings in the House although the Opposition expressed its dissatisfaction with the answers from the minister. PML-N Member Azma Bukhari complained that the minister was not fully prepared.

Azma raised the question of overcrowding in jail and proposed constructing new jails. The woman MPA also brought to the notice of the chair that boundary walls of Faisalabad Central Jail stands collapsed over the last two months and no timeframe has been given to reconstruct it.

PML-N’s Aneeza Fatima demanded increasing the number of women workers in the prisoners.

The House also carried a resolution presented by PTI’s Ahmad Khan Dreshek, for construction dual carriage on the highway from Kashmor to Dera Ismael Khan.

The federal government was asked to construct the dual carriage as single road was cause to a number of accidents over the years.

Azma Bokhari also submitted a motion for vote against overcharging of ticket and their sale in black for the Pakistan Super League matches while Hina Pervez Butt of the PML-N moved another to seek mandatory medical camps at the education institutions in order to be prevent the students against serious diseases in time.

On completion of the agenda of the day, the chair adjourned the session to 9am on Friday (today).