Retirees Protest Dissolution Of Pension System In Kabul

Thursday, 04/18/2024

On Wednesday, a group of retired government employees gathered in Kabul to protest against the Taliban leader's decision to dissolve the pension system, a move that has left many without a means to cover basic living expenses.

The protest has drawn significant attention both in traditional media and on social networks, with many expressing sympathy and support for the retirees, urging the Taliban to acknowledge and respect their rights.

Retirees shared their plight with Afghanistan International, revealing that after years of dedicated service, they now find themselves stripped of all legal entitlements. "With widespread poverty and unemployment in the country, we have no other means to support ourselves," one message read.

One retiree voiced his despair, stating, "I served this land for forty years. Now, as an old and disabled man, how can I provide for my family when there is no work available?" He added that many elderly employees and officials are in distress, uncertain about their future.

The protesters demanded that the Taliban adhere to national and international laws regarding their pensions. The pensions for these retired government employees have been unpaid since the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021.

In a recent move, Hibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban's leader, issued a directive to all military and civilian government offices to cease deductions for retirement contributions, effectively eliminating the pension system in the country.

It is reported that Afghanistan employs over 400,000 civilians and about 148,000 military retirees. According to media sources, the required budget to pay the annual pensions of these 148,000 retirees exceeds 12.5 billion Afghanis, equivalent to approximately 175 million dollars.

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