Roving activist writes book on jail inmates



Daily Times, April 28, 2006
Roving activist writes book on jail inmates
Punjab prisons minister promises improvement on book launch
Staff Report

LAHORE: “I don’t go to church as often as I visit jails,” said Arthur Wilson, on the launching of his book ‘Salakhoon Kay Us Paar’ at the Grand Hotel on Thursday.

Punjab Prisons Minister Saeed Akbar Khan Niwani and Bishop of Lahore Rev Dr Alexander John Malik were honorary guests on the occasion.

Wilson, the executive member of Prison Fellowship of Pakistan, gave a brief account of how he wrote the book when he was visiting Christian prisoners to help them. “A friend of mine told me to not limit my study to jails and look at all the aspects of being a prisoner. I believe that although I may not be able to visit all jails of Pakistan, my book would.”

“Visiting jails is not easy and neither is knowing about prisoners, but one has to play one’s part to help those who are unable to help themselves, as a duty towards one’s country,” he said. “Whether it’s legal assistance or taking care of a prisoner’s family, it’s all about helping.”

Johnson, a member of Raiwind Church, told the gathering that he spent four months in jail because after which Wilson helped him get out. “More than 70 percent of prisoners in jails are innocent, in fact only innocent people go to jail.”

Ejaz Emanuel, general secretary of the Bible Society of Pakistan, said Muslim prisoners got a 6-month remission on finishing a Holy Quran course and Christian inmates should be given similar privilege. Saeed Akbar said the matter was being considered and the authorities had asked the Christian society to send the curriculum of the religious course for approval. The minister congratulated the author of the book and said that things would improve when new jails were made.

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