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Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis gets over Rs 1.40b for Kuwait war affectees

Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis gets over Rs 1.40b for Kuwait war affectees

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance provided over Rs 1.40 billion to Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OP&HRD) for distribution among Kuwait affectees, Customs Today learnt.

On August 2, 1990, Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait and quickly gained control of the country and according to an estimated figure,e about 90,000 Pakistanis including their family members were living in Kuwait at the time of invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990. As a result of Gulf War, more than 60,000 Pakistani expatriates returned to Pakistan from Kuwait/ Iraq either to fly from there or to come back to country through land route via Iraq and Iran and other countries. Pakistanis had to leave their businesses, properties and wealth there and then run to save their lives.

“Finance Ministry provided this amount from huge sum of $ 33.76 million provided by United Nation Compensation Commission (UNCC) in 106 tranches since 1997,” a well placed source at Finance Ministry told this scribe here on Tuesday, adding that the OP & HRD further paid the provided amount to some 44, 221 claimants.

The source said that UNCC, with its office at Geneva, Switzerland, was created in 1991 as a subsidiary organ of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to process claims and pay compensation for losses and damage suffered as a direct result of Iraq’s unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait in 1990-91.

“About 2.7 million claims, with an asserted value of $352.5 billion, were filed with the Commission and it concluded claims-processing in 2005, and the total compensation awarded was $52.4 billion to approximately 1.5 million successful claimants. Nineteen panels of commissioners reviewed and evaluated the claims submitted by governments, international organizations, companies and individuals and then reported their recommendations to the governing council for approval” the source observed.

In Pakistan the source said that Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) the task to receive compensation claims from the war affectees after the war and at the time of their arrival in Pakistan, camps were established by the OPF at Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Taftan border to facilitate such war affectees.

The source said that affectees were paid cash, amounting to Rs 6,000 each earning member at the time of their arrival to meet in land travel expenses. For this purpose, OPF contributed Rs 50 millions. 44,538 war affectees filed claims, which were later submitted to UNCC by OPF for further processing and grant of compensation to claimants.