The Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society (PESS) held a meeting where ex-servicemen and martyrs’ widows appealed to the authorities concerned to enforce ‘one rank, one pension’ policy to save them from financial hardships in their old age.

Addressing the meeting at Committee Bagh, the old veterans vented out their anger over the government apathy towards the welfare of former soldiers.

They said that there were more than 31,000 ex-servicemen including widows while there was DASB Camp Office in the district to solve their problems relating to pension and other welfare matters. They said they have to make trips to DASB Gujrat for redressal of their problems. They added Mandi Bahauddin was upgraded to district in 1993 and since then they had been approaching the authorities concerned for setting up a DASB in Mandi Bahauddin but their requests were not responded. Similarly, they took up the case of “one rank, one pension” with the Federal Shariat Court in 1991. The court decided the case in their favour but the government did not implement it, they said. The speakers demanded posting of a secretary and other authorised staff in Mandi Bahauddin to establish the office. They said DCO Muzaffar Sial had very kindly provided two rooms in TMA building for DASB Camp Office.

The speakers included Honorary Captain Lal Khan Sahi, Subedar Zaman Ranjha and Master Warrant Officer Akram.

The meeting also resolved unanimously that in case their demands were not met, the ex-servicemen would hold a protest on November 6 and the protest would continue on weekly basis till the fulfillment of their demands. Capt Aslam referred to a resolution passed by the Senate recently to increase pension of civil pensioners corresponding to increasing price hike. There was no mention of military pensioners in that resolution, he added and said this was a step motherly treatment towards ex-soldiers.