Peshawar church blasts: Survivors forced to seek private treatment

Christians mourn the death of relatives at All Saints Church in Peshawar on September 24, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

Christians mourn the death of relatives at All Saints Church in Peshawar on September 24, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Survivors of last year’s Peshawar church bomb attack are finding it difficult to get treatment for their injuries, the Supreme Court was informed on Monday.

Representatives of the Christians injured in the attack said they were forcibly discharged from hospitals and since then many have had to seek private medical treatment. The twin blasts at All Saints Church in September 2013 left 81 people dead and scores injured.

Even four and a half months after the attack, the federal and provincial authorities have not paid the victims any financial compensation, compounding their woes.

The apex court took suo motu notice of the case following an application by Saleem Michael. A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani has directed the Attorney General for Pakistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa advocate general to inquire after compensation owed to the families of victims of the attack. This is the first suo motu notice taken by the apex court in 2014.

The bench also requested a report from the K-P government about the number of injured people and details of their medical and financial aid as disbursed by the provincial government.

On Monday, the court asked all provincial governments to supply information about the number of worship places for minority groups and security arrangements for them.

Abduction

The bench also summoned the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) to submit a reply on the abduction of a Hindu girl from Sanghar district. AGP Salman Aslam Butt said a young Hindu woman Pooja Baani has willfully converted to Islam and is currently studying in the Jamia Binoria in Karachi. The woman has filed a writ petition in the Sindh High Court regarding the matter and a hearing is scheduled for the 19th. “Since this matter is sub judice, we will not hear it at this time,” the CJ told the Pakistan Hindu Council’s representative Dr Hamaish Kumar.

Registration of marriages

The bench also took notice of the non-registration of minority groups’ marriages.

Dr Kumar said marriage certificates for the Hindu community need to be registered with the Pakistan Hindu Council before registration at the Union Council and members of the community based across Pakistan are facing difficulties as the Hindu Council is only based in Karachi. The bench asked representatives of the community to submit in writing if they chose to register marriages through the Hindu Council or directly to the union council. “We will direct the government to register marriages of minorities through the secretary of the Union Council,” the CJ said.

Source: The Express Tribune

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