THERE should be little doubt that the cabinet under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Gilani has done well to raise the salaries of the armed forces. While the officer cadres have got a hike of 15 percent and the rank and file 20 percent, it is quite reassuring to know that the troops on active-duty will see in their pay checks a substantial rise of 25 percent. This is not just an acknowledgement of a perilous job the military is carrying out along the countrys western frontiers, taking heavy casualties in the line of duty, it is indeed a timely succour to them and their families back at home in the face of a sky-rocketing inflation. Concurrently, the civilian government employees have been callously ignored. Though the cabinet has promised that their salaries would be raised in July in the light of the Pay and Pension Commissions report, it amounts to leaving them in the lurch. The announcement is bound to cause resentment among the civilians who are also the victims of a high cost of living rendered in part by a decreasing value of the rupee. Reason dictates that they ought to be looked after with revised remuneration packages. It is a crying shame that an exorbitantly rising cost of basic foodstuffs has made it exceedingly hard for the average-income worker to have a balanced diet. Invariably, low salaries account for the prevailing culture of corruption as well. Now the governments oft-repeated point of view is that it has budgetary constraints. This might be understandable but it does not mean that the government can commit the injustice of keeping its employees dreadfully underpaid. Just the other day the police force in Balochistan went up in arms furiously demanding that their salaries be raised. It is the governments paramount duty to ensure that its employees are paid sufficiently enough to be able to live comfortable lives. Problems like the budgetary deficits that are cited as one of the main causes of low salaries can be taken care of by adopting austerity measures.