Instead of focusing on getting her through trauma and getting her back to normal life as soon as possible, the extended family of 14-year-old Haseena Gul from Chitral, who lost her entire family of six including her parents in the ill fated flight PK-661 on December 7, is in fact quibbling over who gets to keep the lion’s share of Rs33 million she is to receive as compensation from PIA and insurance companies.
Haseena, who is suffering from severe psychological trauma, is being treated at PIMS hospital in Islamabad.
Haseena’s paternal uncle claims she is “his daughter”, while her young cousin says she will live with him and his mother, Haseena’s paternal aunt.
Sources in the family say her aunt is trying to get Haseena married to her son. “She will live with me. With me and my mother. My mother is alive,” says Haseena’s male cousin.
Haseena stayed back at her friend’s house as her family boarded a PIA ATR-42 plane to Islamabad. Her exams were coming up, and Gul’s parents wanted her to focus on her studies.
Little did the teenage girl know that the fateful morning would be the last time she would see any of her six family members ever again.
Around 1642 local time, flight PK-661 from Gul’s hometown Chitral crashed in Havelian area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, about 125 km north of its destination Islamabad.
All 47 passengers and crew, including Gul’s parents, two brothers and two sisters, perished when the aircraft blew up in flames as it crashed into a hill in Havelian.
Spokesman for PIA, Daniyal Gilani, said several families from her village have come forward claiming to be Haseena’s family to become her guardian and lay claim to the compensation money until she is of legal age.
PIA will send a team to investigate the matter before disbursing the Rs 33 million amount, said Gilani.
Doctors at the PIMS hospital say the teenage girl is suffering from severe psychological trauma. She gets scared frequently and starts crying.
“At the moment, she is under severe trauma, but as the initial trauma wears off, she is likely to go into long-term trauma. The pain, obviously, is likely to increase with time. I would suggest that authorities should look into this case,” a senior doctor at PIMS told a TV channel.
Despite the trauma, Haseena appears to know what she needs to do—complete her education as her parents had wished for her. She appealed to the government to have her shifted to Islamabad where she can study and fulfill her parents’ dream. “They will not let me study in Chitral,” referring to her extended family.
Meanwhile, MD Baitul Maal has offered Gul a residence to stay. “Gul can stay in the home as long as she wishes to on the department’s expense,” he said.