GOJAL (Hunza), Aug 6 (PR): Affected people of Karakoram Highway (KKH) of Gojal have criticized the government and the National Highway Authority (NHA) for the inordinate delay in paying their compensation.
They gave 10 days ultimatum to the government that if the compensation for their land acquired during the reconstruction of the KKH nine years ago was not paid they would take their case to the people’s court and launch a protest movement.
The decision was taken at a representative meeting of the political parties and civil society, and representatives of the action committee of the affected people, says a press release.
Those who attended the meeting were Muhammad Tahir Advocate, Hajat Muhammad, Tehsil President Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Akhun Bai, leader of Awami Workers Party (AWP-GB) Hunza District, Haider Tai, Vice-President, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Hunza, and Najibullah Khan, Youth Secretary, Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Gojal and other local dignitaries.
A nine-member delegation, headed by Muhammad Tahir Advocate, will meet the GB Governor, Force Commander and Chief Secretary Gilgit-Baltistan and apprise them of the grievances of the affected people.
It was also agreed that the next line of action will be decided in the light of the outcome of the meetings with these officials.
Earlier in February this years a delegation of the AWP Hunza District had met with the Deputy Commissioner and discussed the issue with him. He had assured the team that the issue will be resolved soon but five months have down the road the affected people are still waiting for their rights.
The affected people had also organized a protest demo outside National Press Club in Islamabad in February to highlight the issue.
According to the affected people, the NHA owes Rs600 million to them as compensation for their lands, orchards and forests that were acquired, or damaged during the remodelling of the KKH.
Some affected people in central Hunza District and Diamer District have been paid but the affected people of Gojal were not paid.
Meanwhile, the AWP leader Akhun Bai criticised the NHA officials for their anti-people policy. He said that the NHA in a bid to deprive the affected people of their due compensation has been changing the status of land and prices.