SC seeks detailed record of payments to Iraq-Kuwait war victims

Pakistan The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) to present a detailed report regarding the payments to the victims of Iraq-Kuwait war and adjourned the case for ten days.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed hearing in a suo moto case regarding the non-payment of compensation to the Iraq-Kuwait war victims. During the course of proceedings, Gul Hassan Aurangzeb, counsel for the OPF, updated the bench regarding the payments made by the foundation till now. He apprised the bench that out of about 66,000 victims of the war, 27,000 had been paid compensation and an amount of Rs 710 million had been disbursed among them.

He further stated that the OPF has also received another Rs 970 million which would be distributed shortly among the rest of the affected people, adding that the said amount does not include the service charges and other expenditures. Director Finance Fahim Akhtar apprised the court that $329 million had been released by the United Nations which has been authenticated by the authorities. He informed the court that Irshad Mehtab, an OPF assistant, was convicted in the case by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and sentenced to 20 years in jail over corruption charges; however he was set free by the high court as NAB could not present credible evidence against him.

He said another person, Rafiq Zia, was also convicted by the court and was behind the bars over corruption charges. Gul Hassan apprised the bench that a treasury bill was sent to the State Bank for its approval and as soon it would be approved by the bank, the procedure of payments would be again started. The chief justice remarked that the action was taken by the OPF only after the Supreme Court took notice of the case. He further stated that the evidence of corruption had been found in the disbursement of amount which was shameful. Later, the court adjourned the case for ten days seeking detailed reply from the OPF. app

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