GILGIT: MQM legislator Raja Azam Khan is among 99 beneficiaries who were issued Watan cards in Gilgit-Baltistan, sources said on Saturday.
The list of Watan card beneficiaries, issued by Nadra, contains the names of 99 ‘victims’ of the Shigar sub-division, including the name of the lawmaker as a potential beneficiary eligible for compensation, an official said.
He said that the inclusion of Raja Azam’s name among the flood survivors was made after the district administration conducted a “detailed damage survey”.
“The team collecting data about flood damage found that an otherwise affluent Raja Azam was one of the ‘deserving persons’ eligible for the scheme. This is perceived by many as a ruse of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to buy future votes,” he stated.
Raja Azam had earlier knocked out his opponent Imran Nadeem, a strong PPP candidate, in the 2009 Gilgit-Baltistan general elections after gaining the support of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). Last month, former deputy chief executive G-B, Peer Karam Ali Shah had also availed the facility of Watan card, after declaring that his losses ran into millions. The incident made headlines as hundreds of victims complained of being completely overlooked.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2010.