MANDI BAHAUDDIN - The Pakistan Ex-servicemen Society at a meeting held here has decided to vote for the party which would include in its manifesto a programme to resolve their problems.

The PESS meeting was presided over by its Senior Vice President Major (t) Nasir. Addressing the meeting, Capt (r) Amin said that successive governments including dictators’ regimes in the past, ignored the military pensioners and stopped increase on commuted portion of their pension. This, over the passage of time, caused a big gap between the pension of old and fresh retirees of the same rank and length of service and it was an injustice, he said.

Capt (r) Saleh said that ex-soldiers and their families were being meted out with step motherly treatment when they go to military hospital for medical treatment. Medical facility provided by Fauji Foundation was also unsatisfactory since dispensary was not equipped with equipments.

Medicines given to patients were also of inferior quality, he said. He demand for ex-servicemen medical allowance as it was being given to civil retirees.

Capt (r) Maqsood Rana said that the government was not giving employment to ex-servicemen ignoring their quota. Ex-soldiers out of financial compulsion have to seek employment in security companies at paltry pay from Rs6,000 to 7,000 per month with 12 hours duty daily, he said and added that this was an open exploitation of the former soldiers.

Subedar Major (r) Bashir complained that the Fauji Foundation schools had fixed 10% vacancies for ex-servicemen’s children which were not enough. He said Fauji Foundation had commercialised facilities primarily meant for welfare of ex-servicemen.

Chief Petty Officer Muhammad Aslam said ex-servicemen always cast votes in favour of candidates belonging to mainstream political parties but after reaching assemblies they never raised a voice regarding welfare of the ex-servicemen.

Therefore, he said, in the upcoming elections, ex-servicemen must unite and use their vote bank in favour of a party that in advance pledges to solve problems being faced by ex-servicemen. He said that in Mandi Bahauddin district there were about 30,000 ex-soldiers and with their family members they have a large vote bank, and if they unite no candidate would be able to win elections without their support.

Major (r) Nasir said the Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society was not a political organisation but its members have a right to vote. He urged the participants to ensure that ex-servicemen cast their vote to support candidate of party according to choice made and decided by the PESS.