Victims of Church attack in 2013 still waiting for govt assistance

By Zeenat Khan

PESHAWAR: The people affected by terrorist attack on Kohati Church in Peshawar are still waiting for the government assistance four and a half years after the gruesome incident.

Aqeel Masih from the Christian community was also present at the church during the attack and he sustained injuries in the incident. Aqeel Masih told TNN that he has undergone 15 surgeries from his own pocket since then and still he is battling for complete recovery. He said he is unable to continue his treatment as the burden of debt has increased on him to unbearable extent.

Aqeel Masih said he was busy in worship at the church when the suicide attack happened and half of his body was paralysed as he received injuries in his head. He said one of his feet was also removed and now he is unable to speak properly.

“I was a teacher before that incident. My left foot was removed, while my hand is also working properly,” Aqeel said in a trembling voice.

Aqeel Masih’s wife said the family received only a cheque of Rs200,000 and they are still waiting for more relief. She said the government had announced Rs200 million for the victims, but they received nothing. She said she left her job to look after her husband and now it is very difficult for her to look after her family in these circumstances.

The Christian community has also filed a petition in the Peshawar High Court over not receiving the compensation package of Rs200 million.

As many as 127 people were killed and over 250 others sustained injuries in the Church suicide attack in September, 2013.

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