PESHAWAR: Displeased with the inaction of authorities, a PHC division bench put the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government on notice for its failure to provide complete compensation for Qissa Khwani blast victims despite clear court orders. The bench also sought a response from the Peshawar district coordination officer (DCO) for only paying half the amount announced by the government to victims’ families.
The bench comprising justices Younis Taheem and Roohul Amin was hearing a contempt of court application filed by 157 affected families. The application was filed through attorney Ameer Nawaz. The counsel informed the bench over 41 people were killed and 13 injured in the Qissa Khwani blast on September 13, 2013.
Nawaz said the World Bank also announced compensation through the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) secretary. However, that case was given to the National Accountability Bureau due to reports of misappropriation.
He informed the bench the PHC had directed NAB to continue the enquiry, but pay the compensation amount within 60 days. That decision was yet to be implemented.
NAB prosecutor Azimdad said the bureau had completed its enquiry and action was being taken against those involved in misappropriation.
However, Additional Advocate General Syed Qaiser Ali Shah requested the bench to grant more time. After accepting his plea, the PHC gave him two weeks’ time and adjourned the case till November 25.
The bench, while hearing the writ petition filed by Rahmatullah and families of other Qissa Khwani blast victims, said the government announced an overall Rs28.5 million as compensation.
However, only half the amount had been paid. The bench ordered the DCO to reply by the next hearing.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2015.