LoC firing victims to get military burial, martyr’s package

PM Abbasi, AJK premier Raja Farooq discussed the matter but some details need to be worked out

Sardar Sikander October 12, 2017
A file photo of the Line of Control. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has agreed with Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government’s proposal to offer martyr’s package to the families of the victims of the Indian security force’s unprovoked firing at the Line of Control (LoC), while also offering the deceased proper military burials.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who is also the AJK Council (upper parliament) chairperson, is expected to approve funds in this regard, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Last month Abbasi and AJK premier Raja Farooq Haider discussed the matter but it was learnt that they will conduct another meeting to finalise details.

Ceasefire violation Two civilians martyred along LoC

Recently, the AJK cabinet, under Haider’s chair, approved the proposal of offering the martyrs a military honour burial. However, the cabinet did not take up the proposal of providing their families the martyr’s package since any monetary allotment required Abbasi’s approval.

“The martyr’s package includes financial assistance for the victim’s family, health and education coverage for immediate family members and related facilities. This requires the allocation of a significant chunk of funds, that needs to go through the AJK Council, which in turn functions under the direct command of the Pakistani premier,” a well-placed source in AJK government told The Express Tribune.

Even though the AJK council is the upper house of the AJK Parliament, it falls under the administrative purview of the federal government with the PM as its chairperson and AJK president as the vice chairperson.

LoC violation: Naib Subedar among three martyred by Indian shelling

The AJK council deals with crucial issues concerning the AJK government such as finance, defence and foreign affairs.

The AJK government, on its own, cannot allocate funds for the execution of mega development projects and programmes or those related to the provision of humanitarian assistance. The AJK government has meagre resources and relies on the federal government for funds that are released through the AJK council.

The issue of martyrs’ package and military burials for the LoC victims was discussed during a recent meeting between PM Abbasi and Kashmir Affairs Minister Barjees Tahir, however it has been learnt that key finishing touches have yet to be finalised. Sources said the move would come into effect once it has been calculated how many families have to be given assistance.

The initiative comes after repeated incidents of Indian firing- killing and gravely injuring civilians and military personnel- at the LoC, and the downward spiral in India-Pakistan relationship.

Officials commented that offering military burials and the martyr’s package to the victims is also another way of highlighting Indian aggression and the Kashmir issue. “The plight of the people suffering at the hands of Indian aggression- both at the LoC and in Indian occupied Kashmir- must be highlighted. These issues should be constantly under the spotlight so the international community takes notice,” they added.

Civilian martyred, two injured in Indian firing along LoC

In November 2016, the federal government asked the AJK government to prepare a contingency plan to evacuate villages near the LoC. The decision was taken owing to the increasing frequency and intensity of Indian shelling on the civilian population in AJK. At least 26 civilians were killed and over 100, including women and children, were wounded, according to an official tally.

Earlier this week, AJK cabinet passed a resolution to pay homage to Abbasi for highlighting the Kashmir issue in the United Nations General Assembly session that was held in September.


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