Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday set a one-month deadline for Balochistan government to ensure the payment of compensation to the affectees of attack at Quetta’s Bethel Memorial Methodist Church last year, DawnNewsTV reported.
At least nine people were killed and 30 injured in a suicide attack on the church on December 17, 2017 — following which both the federal and provincial governments had announced monetary compensation for the victims.
However, the sum has still not been disbursed despite several months having passed by, at which the Supreme Court had taken a suo motu notice on the issue last week.
Presided over by the chief justice, a two-member bench of the SC on Friday directed the District Compensation Committee to release payments “to the entitled persons within three days”.
Upon being informed that the holdup has been due to the legal heirs’ failure to submit their succession certificate, the chief justice directed Deputy Commissioner Quetta to immediately transfer the undistributed funds to the account of the Sessions Judge Quetta and set a one-month deadline to determine the deceased’s legal heirs.
Justice Nisar expressed his dismay at the lengthy delay in disbursement of funds, noting that committee members — Additional DC Quetta Naseebullah Kakar, Assistant Commissioner Babraq Khan, Police Surgeon Ali Mardan and SSP Investigation Jawwad Ahmed — were not “able to offer any plausible reason for the delay”.
The chief justice also issued notices to the aforesaid committee members, asking them to explain why a case of misconduct should not be filed against them and why they should not be personally held liable to pay markup to the persons entitled for the period they have been deprived of the money.
Justice Nisar also observed that the Council of Islamic Ideology’s decision to refer to the members of Christian community as “Masihi” instead of “Esai” has not been implemented by the government.
“Let the recommendations of the Council of Islamic Ideology be implemented in letter and spirit and arrangement should be made in all official records, documents, correspondence etc,” he ordered.