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Gulf war victims asked to file claims

July 24, 2003

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ISLAMABAD, July 23: Federal minister for overseas Pakistanis Abdul Sattar Laleka on Tuesday asked nearly 50,000 victims of the 1990 Gulf War, who had earlier failed to file their claims, to submit their claims by Sept 30.

The minister, who was speaking at a news conference here, said that the claims could be filed on prescribed forms.

The compensation, likely to be paid to those Pakistanis, who could not file their claims in time, is likely to be in the range of Rs18 billion.

The United Nation’s compensation commission had appointed a working group, which received claims between 1992 and 1995 and had subsequently paid compensations. But a large number of Pakistanis had either failed to fulfil the criteria set by the said commission or had stayed away from the process could not be included in the affectees’ list for one reason or the other.

Only 44,498 affectees had filed claims by the end of 1995, of which as many as 43,893 affectees had been paid $300 million in the following years.

Affectees, falling in categories D and C relating to affected businesses, were still waiting for finalisation of their cases.

Federal minister for overseas Pakistanis said that there were about 95,000 Pakistanis working in Kuwait at the time of the outbreak of the war.

The ministry and the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation, he said, had remained in touch with the UN Working Group during past eight years, pleading cases of those affectees who had failed to file their claims.

Most of them, he added, belonged to remote border areas in FATA and the AJK. Lanka, Lalika claimed.

The working group comprises representatives from Mexico, Belgium, UK, Germany, Spain, Syria,Chilly,France, and United States.