Snowfall victims to include children in hunger strike -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Snowfall victims to include children in hunger strike

DIR: As the hunger strike of victims of the 2005 devastating snowfall continued for the sixth consecutive day on Wednesday, the protesting families have announced to include their children in the strike to press the government for giving them compensation. No official including those of the district government visited the camp during the six days. The affected residents of Kass Mohallah, Dir Khas have decided to bring the matter into the notice of President Gen Pervez Musharraf and NWFP Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani as they have been accusing the local government and administration of misusing the compensation meant for the snowfall affected people.

We are being cheated by offering a few thousands rupees, Sabir Khan said, adding four million out of five million rupees were given to eight families on political basis while more than 40 affected families were given only one million. Flanked by other protesters, he said it was irony that government officials looted the downtrodden and distressed people affected by catastrophes. He said the provincial government released Rs20.7 million in compliance with the chief minister announcement, and it was their right to get the compensation amount in line with the PC-I prepared by government officials. But local authorities had not only been dilly-dallying in doling out the compensation to the deserved people but had also refused to distribute more than Rs15 million.

This compensation is meant for the snowfall affected people of Kass Mohallah and can’t be misused or embezzled, he warned. The crowed of affected persons at the hunger strike camp said some of them were still living in rented houses despite limited income sources. They said they wanted to settle in safer place as recommended by the team of geological experts, but non-payment on part of the local authorities was the main hurdle. They demanded of the provincial government to ask the local government and administration as why it not only failed to allocate its share of Rs20 million but was also bent upon embezzling and misusing the provincial government’s provided compensation amount? They informed to include their children in their hunger strike to rouse the indifferent local government.

Source: The News

Date:1/18/2007