Tue, 16 Aug 2022

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa [Pakistan], August 5 (ANI): Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa administration is discriminating against Christians and providing the relief funds allocated to them to Muslims, media reports said.

This same was exposed by a recent incident when Adnan William, a Christian lost his father, Church of Pakistan Pastor William Siraj, the only breadwinner of the family, in a brazen terror attack in the provincial capital's Peshawar region on January 30.

However, the pity was that even after making rounds of the government offices in Peshawar for the last four months seeking financial relief for his family there seems to be no consideration for his miseries.

Sharing his woes to the media outlet Kross Konnection, William 34 said, "It has been seven months since my father, Church of Pakistan Pastor William Siraj was martyred by unidentified terrorists when he and two other priests were driving home from a worship service in Peshawar, but the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has neither provided us any relief nor has it arrested the assailants."He said that there was much fanfare when his father died and the government officials promised relief funds of Rs 500,000 when they visited their home on the day of the incident. Among those present were the deputy commissioner and the city's police chief however the promises were merely pomp and show.

Furthermore son William also expressed apprehensions over the type of relief fund which was allocated for his father. He said that his father was killed in a terrorist attack and his case should have been treated under the Shuhada (Martyrs) Package which was created for victims of terrorism however it was put under accidental deaths.

When Adnan visited the Peshawar deputy commissioner's office in March, the officials there expressed surprise that the family had not even received the Rs 500,000 relief.

"I am working as a teacher at a local private school. My sister's husband was martyred in the terrorist attack on All Saints Church in Peshawar in 2013, and she has been living with us ever since. My father was the family's provider but after his death it is very difficult for us to meet ends in my meagre salary, especially due to increasing inflation," he said.

Adnan said that his family would not have faced this dire situation if the Church of Pakistan's Peshawar Diocese had pursued the compensation issue from the onset.

KP's Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and Auqaf Department changed the Rs 200 million package for Christians into an endowment fund for all minorities.

"The process started when I submitted an application in March but the DC office referred our case to the Auqaf Department, which is in control of the endowment fund that was established for all non-Muslim victims of terrorism in the province following the 2013 church attack," he said.

The survivors of the 2013 church attack received Rs500,000 for the deceased and Rs200,000 for the injured from the provincial government while the federal government of the time announced Rs200 million for victims' families.

"It's been nearly eight years since the church attack but no Christian victim has been compensated from that fund for their losses so far. The endowment fund matter is in court so we don't even know when the case will be decided and the compensation will be released to the 2013 attack victims. In this situation, I don't think we have any chance of getting relief from that fund," he added.

Adnan said that he had moved another application demanding that his father's case be treated separately from the 2013 attack.

"The government gave financial assistance of up to Rs3.5 million under the Shuhada Package to each Muslim Shia family who lost their loved ones in the suicide attack on the Koocha Risaldar Imambargah in Peshawar in February so why is it showing discrimination in our case?" he asked. (ANI)

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