10 months on, victims still not compensated

Published: October 7, 2010
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People shifting from a village submerged by the Attabad lake. PHOTO: FILE

People shifting from a village submerged by the Attabad lake. PHOTO: FILE

GILGIT: Acting governor Gilgit-Baltistan Wazir Baig has asked the government to make it clear if the victims of the Attabad Lake disaster will receive compensation or not.

“It’s been over 10 months now since the tragedy but the people haven’t been compensated for their losses as yet. The government should make it clear to them if it can pay for their losses or not,” said Baig, who is also the speaker of the G-B assembly.

Baig’s remarks followed a threat by those affected by the landslide triggered lake to launch a country-wide strike against the government’s failure to recompense.

On January 4, a massive landslide struck Attabad Village, blocking River Hunza, turning it into what is now called the Attabad Lake.

“The people of Attabad are undergoing untold miseries and it is regrettable that the promises made by the prime minister haven’t been fulfilled,” Wazir Baig, who belongs to Hunza, told reporters on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Rabita Committee Mutasireen Gojal – a body of people affected by Hunza-Gojal – threatened to launch a country-wide strike if the government did not resolve their issues.

They marked October 4 as a ‘special occasion’ to obtain their rights and demanded that the lake should be drained as early as possible so that they could reclaim their submerged lands.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2010.

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