One day, General Raheel Sharif will retire and his pension papers will be routed through PPA Directorate GHQ & Controller Military Accounts Officers’ Pension (CMA OP) but with a marked difference. His pension case will be processed in a jiffy ‘by hand’ as I am a witness to such a happening when the CMA OP was ‘alerted’ when cases of generals landed there. 

The purpose is not to belittle CMA OP but to highlight some problems that are faced by the retiring officers or widows of deceased officers. The first and the foremost is the ‘manual’ way of working till the case of the officer is processed and then ultimately gets uploaded on a computer in the ‘Facilitation Centre’ – a great help to countless pensioners spread all over Pakistan and abroad. However, the Facilitation Centre is ill-equipped as there are only two telephone numbers which remain constantly busy with only one person to attend to calls. There’s no back-up UPS provided to the Facilitation Centre or to the other computers in the office with the result that all work remains suspended during load shedding and picks up steam after half an hour of restoration of electricity as the server takes time to ‘warm up’. 

With the fresh government orders to all pensioners to change to DCS (Direct Credit System) i.e., pension being sent directly to the banks rather than necessitating a personal visit to the bank, a huge load of work has befallen on CMA OP for which it appears that it is ill-equipped. The basement, which houses the pension records and the clerical staff looks more like a dungeon with old rotten files bursting the steel almirahs in which these are stocked. 

MAJOR TALAAT KHURSHID (RETD), 

Rawalpindi, April 4.