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Army pensioners protest for rights in Kabul

Army pensioners protest for rights in Kabul

Apr 05, 2016 - 17:40

KABUL (Pajhwok): Dozens of military pensioners on Tuesday protested against what they said government’s double-standards policy toward them and asked the authorities concerned to observe justice about their rights.

Around 150 ex-service members held a rally in capital Kabul and said military officials who retired in the 1380s solar years were paid 50,000 afghanis in annual pension, but those recently retired received up to 300,000 afghanis.

The protestors gathered in front of the Ministry of Finance and were chanting slogans “We want justice”, “the government should at least pay 40 percent pension to us,” “we hate the government’s double-standards.”

Mohammad Daud, one of the retired Afghan National Army (ANA) generals, told Pajhwok Afghan News the government was not observing the law about pensioners’ rights.

He said based on new ANA norms, earlier retired pensioners should receive the same amount of privileges as the recently retired pensioners.

“The government pays 50,000 to 75,000 afghanis to the earlier retired government officers, but those recently retired receive up to 300,000 afghanis each year,” he said. Afzali asked the government not to forget their sacrifices in the defence of the country.

Retired major Mubarak Shah, another protestor, also said the distribution of their pensions by following the old norms was against the law. He asked the government to give them their pensions under the new military law.

Meanwhile, Pensioners Union head, Abdul Ali Sayed, told Pajhwok Afghan News the issue of renewing the law about their rights had been shared by the Office of Administrative Affairs with the Ministry of Finance, but no action had so far been taken in this regard.

“Retired officers are suffering from poverty, injustice, discrimination and double standards of the government,” he said.

Finance Ministry spokesman Ajmal Abdur Rahimzai said 40 percent retirement benefits had already been added to pensioners’ rights and another 10 percent would be added this solar year.