ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra to monitor the distribution of compensation among heirs of those who died in Parachinar terrorist attacks as well as those who were injured in the incident.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister House on Sunday, Mr Sharif asked the KP governor to meet heirs of the victims of the twin blasts and other affected persons to discuss the assistance package for them and submit to him a report containing proposals.
A total of 75 people were killed and around 300 suffered injuries in the explosions that devastated Turi Market in Parachinar on June 23.
Jhagra also directed to meet heirs of those who died in June 23 twin blasts
The prime minister wants the governor to distribute the compensation cheques among the heirs of the deceased and the people injured in the blasts.
He has also asked Mr Jhagra to take care of the persons affected by the terror attacks.
The prime minister said that people of Pakistan, including those from Parachinar, had sacrificed a lot for elimination of terrorism. He said people’s sacrifices against terrorism and extremism would never go to waste and the elements poised to undermine the unity and development of Pakistan would face defeat.
Last week, Mr Sharif had announced Rs1 million compensation for each deceased and Rs500,000 for each injured person. The move had come amid criticism that the government was turning a deaf ear to the demands of the families of the victims of Parachinar bombings.
However, the bereaved families rejected the compensation amount, saying it did not match the amount announced as compensation for people in other parts of the country.
The prime minister had recently announced a compensation package of Rs2m for the family of each person who died in the Ahmedpur East oil tanker inferno on June 25.
The protesters said that people of Parachinar were also citizens of the country, but the government treated them as lesser citizens. They demanded that the package announced for Parachinar blasts’ victims be brought on a par with the compensation for victims of tragedies in other areas of the country.
Opposition parties, including the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, also rejected the PM’s compensation package for Parachinar blasts’ victims and demanded that it should be equal to that given to heirs of the victims of the oil tanker tragedy.
The opposition parties are also criticising the prime minister for not visiting Parachinar to express solidarity and sympathy with the people affected by the terror attacks.
Soon after the incident, local people and residents of adjoining villages staged a sit-in in Parachinar that continued for eight days.
They called off the sit-in after Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa visited them on Friday and held out several assurances, including turning Parachinar into a safe city by beefing up security. During the visit, the army chief had said that the government had announced compensation for the Parachinar victims on a par with those elsewhere in the country. All Pakistanis were equal, he said.
Gen Bajwa ordered removal of Frontier Corps (FC) Commandant in Parachinar, Col Omar, which was one of the key demands of the protesters, who had alleged that FC personnel had opened fire on protesting mourners after the deadly explosions.
According to an Inter-Services Public Relations statement, the army chief said that firing by the FC troops while handling the mob situation after the twin explosions was being investigated and those found responsible would not be spared.
The COAS announced a safe city project for Parachinar by installing closed-circuit television cameras there in line with Lahore and Islamabad.
He said that the army supported mainstreaming of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which was being pursued, and its early implementation was essential for enduring peace and stability.
Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2017