Retirees in Kabul protest unpaid pensions

KABUL (TOLOnews): Dozens of retired officials held a protest in Kabul to criticize unpaid pensions, saying they have not been paid over the past 16 months.
The rally was conducted by retirees from military and civil servants of previous governments who said they are faced with severe challenges amid freezing winter.
“There is nothing to heat our rooms. I pay 4,000 Afs for house rent and we are three families. I have my daughter in laws with me, and we have nothing to eat,” said Alina, a former government employee.
The rally members called on the Islamic Emirate to pay their pensions.
“If we say their children are affected by malnutrition, you can go and check it at their houses,” said Meer Alam, a retiree.
“It has been around one and a half years since the Islamic Emirate gave us promises to pay our pensions, but we are yet to be paid,” said Zabiullah, a retiree.
“We have served this country with honesty. We are all facing economic challenges and all of us have families,” said Mohammad Omar, a retiree.
The Ministry of Finance said it has prepared a plan for payment of pensions to the retirees and that they are waiting for its approval by relevant authorities.
“We have allocated around four billion Afghanis for the retirees in the (fiscal) budget of the current year. We are waiting for its approval. The payments will be the same as in the past based on accounts and their cards,” said Ahmad Wali Haqmal, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan.
Based on statistics by the Ministry of Finance, at least 149,000, including 10,000 women, have not yet received their pensions for the past year.