During the dictatorship of Gen Zial-ul-Haq, the pays and pensions of the retiring government servants increased in 1986. Despite the liberal raise awarded, a cruel anomaly was left behind. The new liberal scale was refused to the then existing pensioners and pre-1986 pensioners were retained on the old miserable scales. Thus two distinct classes were created into the pensioners. A Brigadier retiring in pre-1986 era received only Rs.3300/- per month as compared to over Rs.10, 000 for the one of post-1986 period. It gave rise to a slogan “one rank one pension”. The date of retirement cannot be allowed to usher in miseries for those who retired earlier in the same rank. A Shariah Petition was filed by the old pensioners in the Federal Shariah Court in October 1990. The decision was given by the Shariah Court on 14 Oct 1992 in favour of “Old Pensioners”. An appeal was given by the government which is still lying in the Court. In the meantime, many of the old pensioners have died, while the rest wait.
The slogan “one rank, one pension” still exists. It was, in the meantime, the budget gave in every year 20 percent raise to the pensioners of Pre-1986 and thus they were given some consolation. This year unluckily the budget has remitted that extra raise and that now all the military pensioners’ pre-1986 reached the level of post-1986 especially the lower ranks.
What is going on in this country, hard for everyone to understand, when they cut the pension of people who dedicated their lives to the service of the nation. The present government needs to be very clear in their priorities and keep in mind all the promises they made to the nation. They should respect the old timers and understand their need in the inflated economy of the country.
BRIG (R) A.Q ANJUM,
Rawalpindi, June 17.