Affectees give July 19 deadline

ISLAMABAD (APP) - The people affected in Iraq-Kuwait War on Tuesday demanded the payment of $105,000 compensation by July 19 and threatened of self-immolation in front of the Parliament House in case the government failed to meet the deadline. The affectees had arranged a demonstration at Parade Avenue to self-immolate themselves while protesting against the delay in payment of compensation by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, but they postponed the move after the assurance by the city administration to help resolve their issues. Addressing the protesters, the head of affectees action committee Iftikhar Qureshi said despite a court verdict, as many as 96,670 affectees were still waiting for their compensation since 1991 as the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) had provided a huge amount to the ministry for each affectee but the fund was not distributed among the rightful persons. He said according to the UNCC, the govt had been given $105,000 for each affectee but the payment made so far was Rs105,000 only, arguing that the said money was an installation of the total amount. It is worth recalling that the apex court had ordered the ministry to pay compensation as announced by the UNCC but the compliance of the verdict is still awaited. At the time of Iraq-Kuwait war, thousands of Pakistanis were working in both the states who had to left for their homeland while the UNCC had pledged financial support to them. The affectees committee head said due to the Gulf War, the residents of almost 72 states had to leave for their homes, winding up their businesses in both the states. All of the states have paid compensation to the affectees except Pakistan where the victims have been yearning for their rights even after 20 years, he added. When contacted, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis spokesman told this news agency that the claims of the affectees were false. The matter is sub-judice with the Supreme Court. The ministry has already paid them the compensation of $4,000 as per their category. The compensation they are demanding for is based on false claims, he claimed. He said the demonstrations were being held by the people whose case were rejected on certain grounds, adding that the affectees had been compensated in different categories based on their business and property in Iraq and Kuwait.

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