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Contempt hearing against Baloch CM gets under way

October 22, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Oct 22: Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman on Monday sought comments from Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani and federal government on a petition seeking contempt proceedings.

The petition was filed in regard to not implementing its order for compensating people affected by the October 2008 earthquake.

The same court on March 14 had given six months to the federal and Balochistan governments to determine the losses of 187 Baloch families, who lost their homes and valuables in 2008 earthquake and to compensate them in accordance with the policy.

The court had directed the authorities to conduct a fresh survey with the help of residents of the locality and revenue authorities to determine the losses of the affected families, during the said earthquake.

The petitioner Syed Saifur Rehman, a Baloch affected by the earthquake, through his counsel Ali Murad Baloch informed the court that the authorities of federal and provincial governments had deprived them of financial aid announced by the government.

He alleged 187 families of village Khanozai district Pishin of Balochistan have not been paid a single penny out of the fund reserved for the affected people.

He said the former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani had announced Rs0.35 million financial aid for each affected family and the provincial disaster management authority (PDMA) had already completed the survey of the area but the affected villagers are still waiting.

According to him, the affected families protested against the injustice and discriminatory treatment of the authorities concerned and the chief minister Balochistan then reiterated to undertake a fresh survey to find out the real victims, however, nothing has been done as yet, he added.

He claimed that following the earthquake the government received over Rs2,620 million aid and out of which, so far, Rs2,000 million had been distributed.

Interesting to note, in an earlier hearing on March 2012, deputy attorney general (DAG) Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri representing federal government had contended that the claims of affected families were fake.

He informed the court that since the petition had cited Balochistan government as one of the parties and he had sought relief against a provincial government, therefore, being a high court for Islamabad Capital Territory, IHC could not take up the petition.

Chief Justice Rehman on Monday also issued notices to Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Director General Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and Chief Secretary Balochistan and adjourned the hearing for a fortnight.