Pakistani prisoners get ‘extra time’ to watch football

Posted on June 14, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Society, Sports
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Adil Najam

According to a Reuters newsreport by Abdul Waheed (June 14, 2006) prisoners in Landhi jail in Karachi (one of Pakistan’s biggest prison) are getting ‘extra time’ to stay up late to watch the 2006 Football World Cup.

KARACHI, June 14 (Reuters) – Authorities in one of Pakistan’s biggest jails are letting football-mad inmates, including hundreds of foreigners, stay up late to watch World Cup soccer matches.Prisoners in Landhi jail in Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city, are usually only allowed to watch television until 11 p.m. (1900 GMT) but the rule has been dropped for the World Cup.

“Prisoners are provided with cable television in a designated area. Some are very keen to watch the matches as their countries are playing in it. We’ve allowed some relaxation,” said the superintendent of the prison, Anwar Mustafa told reporters.

The jail has 643 foreign inmates, most of them serving time for drug offences.Inmates at Karachi’s main women’s prison have also caught World Cup fever, and they too are being allowed to stay up late, said warder, Bashiran Bibi. “They watch intensely and cheer every goal. They seem to forget their problems,” Bashiran said of her charges who include three women from Ghana, one from Germany and six from Ivory Coast.

Pakistan has never played in a World Cup finals and comes 153rd in world football rankings but the World Cup is followed with huge interest.

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