Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry Monday said police, prosecution and prison reforms were the need of the hour to improve the country’s criminal justice system. He said this while addressing the launching ceremony of a book titled “Encounter Cops” by senior crime reporter Ahmad Faraz at the Lahore Press Club. Fawad said he was happy to note that Ahmad Faraz dedicated his book to late Asad Sahi and Zahid Malik, adding that both were big names in the field of reporting. He observed that all those in the country who were somehow associated with the criminal justice system should read this book. Sharing his impressions, Fawad said after going through this book the reader would come to know how the police system was ruined in the country after 1990. The minister said in his opinion, the police system devised by the British in 1867 was in a shambles and had not been replaced or reformed. He added district and rural policing was destroyed extensively and the only option left was to revamp the police right from the lower level. Fawad said since 1990 extrajudicial killings claimed the lives of 5,500 people, and more than two-thirds of people among them had fallen victim during the tenure of Shehbaz Sharif. Giving a reference from the book, Fawad said from 1991 to 1999, 1,858 police encounters were carried out which claimed the lives of 1,294 people. He said Ahmad Faraz had cited different incidents of ‘fake police encounters’ in his book, and compiled a useful data for the readers. He stressed that the judiciary, law and police departments had to play their due role for efficient working of criminal justice system. He highlighted that Prime Minister Imran Khan was going to announce a big programme under which the people of Punjab would avail themselves of health insurance facility up to Rs1 million and those earning less than Rs50,000 per month would get a concession of 30 percent on purchase of basic food items. The information minister said that journalists would get health cards soon and the cameramen and media workers who were earning less than Rs50,000 would get concession of 30 percent on ghee, flour and pulses. To a question, he said dialogue would be held with those who respect the constitution and law of the country. Meanwhile, in a tweet, Fawad said the price of a urea bag in the international market was Rs10,000, while the official price of a urea bag in Pakistan was just Rs1,700 while in the black market it was being sold at Rs2,200. He said Pakistan had to import DAP fertilizer and the government had no control on its price. Fawad said the farmers had earned additional Rs 400 billion on five major crops due to the government’s policies. “What else should the government do” he questioned.