DURING the rule of Gen Zialul Haq 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 of pensioners were created.
A brigadier retiring in the pre-1986 era received only Rs3300 a month as compared to over Rs10,000 for the one of the post-1986 period. It gave rise to a slogan of “one rank, one pension”.
The date of retirement cannot be allowed to usher in miseries for those who retire earlier in the same rank. A Shariat petition was filed by the old pensioners in the Federal Shariat Court in October 1990.
The decision was given by the Shariat Court on Oct 14, 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 are waiting for their turn.
The slogan ‘one rank, one pension’ still exists. In the meantime, the budget gave every year 20pc raise to the pensioners of pre-1986 and thus they were being given some extra tolls and consolation.
This year, unluckily, the budget has remitted that extra raise and that now all the military pensioners pre-1986 have reached the level of post-1986, especially the lower ranks.
BRIG ( r) A.Q. ANJUM