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CJP wants to know where funds for quake victims were spent

CJP wants to know where funds for quake victims were spent

ISLAMABAD/BALAKOT: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar Wednesday asked whether the foreign aid received for rehabilitation of 2005 quake victims were added to the national kitty.

During hearing of a suo motu case pertaining to alleged embezzlement in over $5 billion financial assistance extended by the international community for earthquake victims, a Finance Ministry official told the court that $2.89 billion foreign grant was received for rehabilitation of victim. The official added that there were no details about funds accumulated from within Pakistan.

The top judge said that the ministry should have known the exact amount accumulated for rehabilitation of quake victims. He said that blue-eyed officials were recruited in the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA), adding that funds disbursement for other issues was a crime.

He remarked that it was a fit case for the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to probe on a daily basis.

An ERRA official told the court that the organisation was facing difficulty in getting the ownership of the land. “Once we get the ownership then the project will be completed in two years,” he said.

Responding to this, the CJP asked, “Will the poor people stay under the sky for two more years.”

He said that it was a shame for departments concerned.

The chief justice then ordered officials concerned to reach Balakot and he, too, left for Balakot via the motorway to monitor the situation personally.

However, before reaching the earthquake-hit city of Balakot, the CJP visited Mansehra District Bar Council.

While speaking to audience, the CJP said that he was told that schools and hospitals were not operational in Mansehra.

He expressed that his main motivation was Justice Ijaz Afzal who said that since it was a problem of his area, he could not hear the case.

On the occasion, the CJP once again expressed his resolve to keep working for fundamental rights of people and not compromise on them.

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