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APP retirees’ woes

July 27, 2012

IT is today’s retirees of the government-funded Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) who laid the foundation of the national news agency and undeniably nurtured it with professional journalism.

However, all the sustained and hard work by APP retirees appears to be unappreciated by the management.

APP retirees like me served the agency with diligence and devotion for four decades, both during war and peace.

Scanned service records will bear out that this scribe served the APP in varied positions, including Accredited Special Correspondent to India.

Instead of appreciating their obedience and devotion to the national news agency and the country, the APP has virtually failed to ensure retirees’ legitimate healthcare for more than the past two years.

Chemists and hospitals on the APPC panel in Karachi have long since stopped medical provisions and treatment.

Consequently, APPC retirees like me (who suffer from cardiac ailment) have to manage food and medical provisions with partial pension amount, which too has been badly affected by skyrocketing inflation and costs of living.

Moreover, medical bills are not reimbursed in time, adding hardship to retirees’ woeful plight.

My medical bills as in June 2012 accumulated to more than Rs96,000 with no immediate sign of reimbursement.

This is despite phone calls and a series of letters and emails having been written to the APP.

Constrained with financial hardship, I urge the incumbent management and the secretary of information, government of Pakistan, to immediately intervene for payment of overdue medical bills and non-stop medical care to APPC retirees like me. I need it all the more as my wife is an acute asthma patient.

JALIL AHMED Ex-Director, APP (ENS) Karachi