KARACHI: The board of directors of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has set up a Rs10 million fund to financially assist the families of both the martyred security personnel and those who were injured defending the PSX in a terrorist attack on June 29.
According to a statement issued by the exchange, this fund has been endowed with an upfront donation of Rs10 million, but the size of the fund is expected to grow substantially. “This is because the PSX management is in discussion with brokers, other capital market organisations and institutions who have reached out and expressed a desire to support this effort. PSX staff and directors in their individual capacity have also committed their support.”
The PSX stated that the objective of setting up the fund is to ensure that the families receive consistent financial support. “While PSX fully understands that monetary reward is no compensation for loss of life or serious injury, yet the exchange is committed to easing the suffering and contributing to alleviate the financial worries of families of those who lost their lives in the line of duty.”
The PSX will also contribute to medical expenses and continue paying the salary of two injured guards until they are fit to resume their duties.
Earlier on Monday at 10:02 A.M., four heavily armed terrorists attempted to enter the PSX. However, they were stopped by security forces, and all four terrorists were killed. The situation was brought under control in 12 minutes.
Three security personnel, including two private security guards and one assistant sub-inspector, lost their lives, while two security personnel were injured. The deceased were identified as sub-inspector Muhammad Shahid and security guards Khuda-e-Yar and Iftikhar Wahid.
Militants from the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) later took responsibility for the attack. The BLA is an armed separatist group that had previously carried out an attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi in 2018.
In its statement after the incident, the PSX had condemned the ‘dastardly and cowardly’ attack by terrorists. “This was an attack which targeted not only innocent people but also the economic stability and the investment environment of Pakistan. The board deeply appreciated the bravery of the security personnel, who risked their lives, and indeed some of them paid with their lives, to defend the Exchange and Pakistan,” it added.
The PSX also highlighted that despite the extreme event, the market did not stop working for ‘even a minute’, and disaster recovery and business continuity measures worked.
On July 1, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah announced that the police sub-inspector who was martyred will be promoted, his family will be compensated with Rs10 million and two jobs, while his salary will continue to be disbursed until superannuation.
The CM also announced that the families of the martyred security guards will be compensated with Rs5 million each, along with one job in the police force for one member of each family.
In addition, the employer of two martyred security guards, Security 2000, told Profit that it too has paid Rs1 million in compensation to the families of the guards. The company is also helping bear the medical expense of the injured guards admitted in the hospital.
Security 2000 is a private security company set up in 1995 and has 10 domestic offices in Pakistan. Its clients include not just the PSX, but several banks in Pakistan, such as United Bank Ltd and Standard Chartered Bank.
Typically, a client will pay a monthly sum to a private security company to provide security guards. According to sources, this average amount ranges between Rs25,000 to Rs26,000 per hired guard.
However, in Pakistan, across security firms, the actual takehome salary for a guard set by the firm is much lower, and ranges around the minimum wage. The minimum wage in the province of Sindh is Rs17,500.
Lt Col (r) Mohsin Khan, who is the General Manager of Consultancy at Security 2000, informed that guards are paid adequately, saying that Iftikhar Wahid’s take home salary was Rs18,400, while Khuda-e-Yar’s salary was Rs21,300.