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PHC directs govt: Compensate families of slain soldiers

November 01, 2012

Pakistani soldiers at Pak-afghan border. — File Photo
File photo

PESHAWAR, Oct 31: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday directed Fata Secretariat to appropriately compensate families of the levies force’ slain personnel and other officials within a week and warned that strict action would be taken against the relevant officials in case of noncompliance.

A bench comprising acting Chief Justice Miftauddin Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth fixed for Nov 7 the next hearing into three contempt of court petitions filed by families of several personnel of levies force and an official of tribal administration in Kurram Agency, who were killed in different acts of terrorism.

Earlier on different occasions, the court ordered payment of appropriate compensation under the ‘shuhada package’ equivalent to the one paid to families of slain personnel of armed forces and police.

Deputy attorney general Muzamil Khan said the ministry of state and frontier region had released Rs120 million to Fata Secretariat for payment of compensation in accordance with the court’s earlier orders. He said it was up to Fata Secretariat to pay the said compensation.

Representative of Fata Secretariat Abdul Qayyum said the secretariat had received the money and had been distributing it in accordance with the compensation policy formulated by the government in 2010. He said some compensation cases belonged to the pre-2010 period and that the relevant families had been demanding compensation in accordance with the current policy.The bench observed that Fata Secretariat had no option but to implement the court orders in the said cases in letter and spirit.

Hashim Mengal, lawyer for petitioner Maryam, said his client’s husband Naseeb Shah was a peon in the tribal administration at Parachinar (Kurram Agency) and was killed in a blast on Nov 16, 2007, but until now, compensation hadn’t been paid to her.

Another petition is filed by families of around 42 slain personnel of Bajaur Levies seeking compensation equivalent to that of police and armed forces. The petitioners said their family members had been killed in different acts of terrorism over the last few years but the administration had provided very nominal compensation to some families only.

They said on the directives of the high court, a summary was approved by the government wherein it was stated that the personnel of levies force would be compensated under the ‘shuhada package’ on a par with that of police, but the summary awaited implementation.

Another petition of the contempt of the court is filed by widow of havaldar Gulzar Ali, who was killed in an encounter with militants in Mohmand Agency on Mar 7, 2009.

The petitioner was paid compensation on the orders of the court but the compensation was not equivalent to that of the armed forces and therefore, she moved the court for orders for payment of enhanced compensation.