Imran Khan govt showers PoK with generous allowances


Muzaffarabad, Sep 16 (IANS): With Pakistan-occupied Kashmir becoming the cynosure of the Imran Khan government following Islamabad's focus on Jammu and Kashmir after its special status was revoked and amid warnings of India taking over PoK, the provincial government in Muzaffarabad on Monday announced generous monthly allowances for its employees.

The Finance Department announced a generous monthly Utility Allowance for officers of the Civil Secretariat, ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000, depending on their payscale.

In another move, a Special Allowance of 50 per cent of the minimum of basic pay scale of 2017 was announced for officials of the Civil Secretariat, for all officers - from the payscale of 1 to 20.

The allowances would be paid on a monthly basis along with the salary, the Finance Department announced. It clarified that the allowances would not be paid to those officers of the Secretariat who are posted outside PoK, are on long leave or were availing of some other special allowance.

The announcement of generous financial allowances comes days after Imran Khan on Friday held a 'Jalsa' in Muzaffarabad in support of Kashmir, but which was a poorly attended event from all accounts. While the locals mostly kept away from the event, with many Kashmiris shouting anti-Imran slogans, the local administration filled up the seats with government officials.

There were also reports that Imran's move to hold the Jalsa in Muzaffarabad was aimed at getting political mileage for his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party in PoK.

The Imran Khan government has been worried ever since ministers in the Modi government in India and even Indian Army generals have been openly saying that their sights are now set on retaking Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

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