HRCP urges inclusive, transparent compensation plan for conflict-hit areas

Lahore, June 24, 2010: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has asked the government to inform the people as to how the plan for compensation for damage to houses in the conflict-hit zones of the country is progressing.

A statement issued by HRCP on Thursday said: “HRCP welcomes government’s move to start assessment of damage to houses in the conflict-hit northwestern parts of the country with a view to giving compensation to the affected people. However, while damage to totally or partially destroyed houses has been assessed in Buner, Upper Dir and Swat districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa and at least estimates of damages calculated in Bajaur and Mohmand regions in FATA, HRCP regrets that the same has not happened in Upper Swat and Lower Dir, Shangla, Hangu and Kohat districts in Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa and South Waziristan, Kurram and Orakzai agencies in FATA.

HRCP cannot emphasise enough the importance of early payment of compensation to the affected people, which is crucial for individuals to return to their communities and rebuild their homes and lives. It would also mitigate anger over damage to property in security forces’ operations and garner support for government action against militants.

HRCP strongly suggests that the government consult representatives of the affected people during the decision-making process to ensure that their concerns are addressed.

The government must also explain to the people how transparency would be ensured in the distribution of compensation and what mechanisms have been put in place to ensure accountability.”

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