ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Monday sought a detailed report on foreign aid for the victims of 2005 earthquake and the amount spent for rehabilitation of these victims in Mansehra district.

The top court also issued notices to attorney general for Pakistan and chief secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in this regard.

The top court also directed the district and sessions judge Mansehra to visit the affected areas of Balakot and inspect the projects relating to 2005 earthquake rehabilitation and reconstruction in the district.

The court issued directions for on-site inspection and compilation of a detailed report after ascertaining information from all stakeholders concerned, departments and functionaries in the local, provincial and federal governments and authorities and from local public representatives and notables.

It said that the above-mentioned stakeholders shall be obliged to provide all necessary cooperation and assistance to D&S judge in this regard.

The report of D&S judge shall also cover all projects of reconstruction and rehabilitation conceived for District Mansehra in all relevant fields, including education, health, infrastructure, transport/ roads, environment power town planning, water, sanitation, medical rehabilitation, social protection, livelihood and governance.

Report shall also provide status of all these projects in respect of various stages of their completion including the projects not yet started, projects under-construction and projects completed.

The report shall also cover the projects namely New Balakot City, King Abdullah Teaching Hospital Mansehra, Tehsil Headquarters Hospital (THQ) Old Balakot City.

The directions were issued by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan which took up a letter mentioning miseries of earthquake victims for hearing.

The letter was sent to Human Rights Cell of the top court by a citizen of District Mansehra Sheeraz Mehmood Qureshi.

“Massive donations from the international community, individuals and private sector that had received by the government for the people of earthquake victims and rehabilitation process but unfortunately the government has done nothing for the victims in the area,” the letter stated, adding around 17,000 casualities were registered in and around the region alone.

It further alleged that a large scale embezzlement and mismanagement prevented the aid to reach the affected and deserving people.

The letter regretted that the government had made commitment of provision of five marla plot per family but despite 12 years commitment had not been materialised.

It said that Saudi Arabia had provided complete funding for building of King Abdullah Hospital and its construction was started in 2006. The Saudi government has already paid the whole funds but construction of the building has not been completed so far,” it lamented. Qureshi also prayed to the court to issue directions for the audit of all foreign aid which has donated by the international community for the victims of 2005 earthquake.

During the course of hearing, Qureshi contended that no rehabilitation work had been done. He lamented that all the aid had been spent on the perks and privileges of the retired and in-service army officers.

He added that ERRA and Pakhtunkhwa Earthquake Reconstruction Rehabilitation Authority (PERRA) should also be questioned in this connection.

Later, the top court while issuing the orders directed the D&S Judge to submit the report within 3-weeks.

 

SYED SABEEHUL HUSSNAIN