A lot has been written about the plight of pensioners, especially about senior citizens – the name given by the government some twenty years ago for citizens aged 65 or above. Hardly anything has been done in the last two decades for these senior citizens. There are not even separate counters for them at banks or other public places. They have to wait in long queues. If they face any difficulty while filling a form, they are met with criticism and scathing comments. In other countries, senior citizens are treated with respect. They are facilitated at all public places, they are provided free wheel chair service at parks and entertainment spots. They are even eligible for various discounts, etc.
In Pakistan, senior citizens, especially those who solely rely on their pensions, are living a miserable life. When the government announces salary increment, their pension is also increased by 7 to 10 percent only Only those who have alternate sources of income are able to manage their monthly expenses. The PM and the finance minister should consider increasing the pension of the employees who retired before 1997 by 30 percent.
Sqn Ldr (r) Tarique Mahmood Malak