In a democratic system, the members of the National Assembly (Lawmakers) are representatives of the public. They are obligated to make laws for the progress of the state and the betterment of life of the people.

Previously two mainstream political parties; PPP and PML-N ruled the country while also raising the pay and pension of government servants. PML-N increased the pay and pension of government servants by 10% whilst PPP enhanced these by 20% during their tenure. However, PML-N once rose the perks and privileges of parliamentarians by 133% and pay for the government servants by 10%.

The current government is in the grips of a financial crisis and running on foreign aid and loans from the IMF. The inflation is too high and likely to drown the economy even with loans and aid from friendly countries. The current government could not increase the pay or pension of the employees. Any increase seems to be an illusion. This made the life of government officials as well as pensioners miserable. There are a few pensioners who served the government in the British era before the partition and later in the Pakistan government.

These handfuls of pensioners still around, well into their nineties, live on meagre pensions. For example, there is a huge gap in pensions of those who retired in 1969 as compared to those who retired in 1970. The government tried to fix this anomaly in 1979 but to no avail and the injustice prevails of a few nonagenarians still around.

The current government needs to provide justice to these old-timers who not only worked for the country on very low salaries but also continue to struggle to survive on paltry pensions for more than 40 years. Given the small number of such individuals, any adjustment to their pensions won’t have a noticeable impact on the exchequer. I request the PM to pay special attention to the plight of very old pensioners and order a handsome increase in their pensions to provide them with some respite at a time when they need it the most.

RAJA SHAFAATULLAH,

Islamabad.