LAHORE, Feb 25: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Monday called upon the Planning Commission and Wapda to settle the claim for compensation of the Mirani Dam (Balochistan) affectees and end their long wait.
In a statement issued here, the commission said: “About a score of peasants from Turbat in Balochistan have been camping opposite the Wapda House in Lahore, and taking turns at a token hunger strike, in cold and rain, for a whole week, on a mission they should not have been compelled to undertake.
“They represent the 15,000 or so families uprooted during the reverse flow of water from the Mirani Dam reservoir several years ago. Their orchids (date trees) and houses were destroyed, forcing them to abandon their homes and lands and spend five years in makeshift tents. Their claim to compensation is said to have been approved quite some time ago but no payment has been made.
“These protesters had come to Lahore in March last year also but were turned back empty-handed. Now Wapda is shifting the responsibility for doling out the cash to the Planning Commission. Whichever institution is responsible for ensuring justice to these poor people must do so forthwith and put an end to the matter that makes the state liable to censure and causes deep anguish and shame to the people.”