Presidential Compensation: ‘Don’t forget your promise, President Zardari’

Joseph Colony residents demand full payment.

Rana Tanveer August 01, 2013
They have vowed to protest until the promised Rs500,000 compensation is paid. PHOTO: REUTERS


The victims of the Joseph Colony incident have asked President Asif Ali Zardari to pay up the promised compensation money before his tenure as president is up.

Members of 155 effected families of Joseph Colony, whose houses were looted and burnt by an angry mob in March this year, are staging a sit-in at the Lahore Press Club building in protest against President Zardari.

They have vowed to protest until the promised Rs500,000 compensation is paid.

Suhail Masih Khokhar, a protester, told The Express Tribune that the city government had identified 267 families affected in the mob attack at Joseph Colony.

He said President Zardari had announced he would give equal compensation to all families. A ceremony was held and compensation money was distributed on behalf of the president among 112 families, while 155 families were told they would be paid later.

He said no representative of the federal government had since contacted the remaining families.

He said the president, with the help of local Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) representatives had identified PPP workers and given compensation to them only.

Younas Masih, another protester, said although the government paid for the repair of their houses, the work was insufficient for their needs.

He said people were waiting for the presidential compensation to resume their lives. He said all his belongings were stolen and burnt. He said the compensation money would provide him with much needed relief.

He said he was afraid that as a new president had been elected, the matter would be forgotten.

Pakistan Human Libration Commission Chairman Aslam Parvaiz Sahotra, speaking to The Express Tribune, urged the government to pay the remaining families.

“The president must pay the compensation as promised,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2013.


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