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Retired govt employees protest in Kabul

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Kabul: Retired employees of the Afghanistan Government on Saturday protested against the Taliban over the issue of non-payment of their pensions in Kabul. They held a protest in Kabul and called on the Taliban government to pay their pensions, reported Tolo News.

The retirees said that they have not been paid for many months as of now. Mohammad Daud, 68, who had worked for 30 years in the municipality department, said he is the breadwinner for a family of 13 members “We call on the Islamic Emirate to provide us with our rights. We have nothing, just honour our rights, we are about to die from starvation,” he said.

“My sons are working as labourers. Each of them has 10 children. One of them feeds me breakfast another feeds me dinner. I sold all of my appliances in the house to buy my medicine,” said Gul Jan, who came to take her husband’s pension. “I request they give us our rights,” said Najibullah, a retiree.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) said that work on a plan has been shared with the Prime Minister’s Office to facilitate the payment of retirees’ pensions “The plan, which was formed about the retirees’ payments, was introduced in the 5th cabinet meeting. The Ministry of Finance now is waiting for the decree of the Prime Minister to act accordingly,” said Ahmad Wali Haqmal, a spokesman for the MoF. The retirees have staged many demonstrations earlier as well, in which they called on the government to pay their pensions.

As Afghanistan witnessed a severe financial crisis, retired employees and veterans expressed their frustration over their economic problems and demanded the Taliban regime pay their pension payments. These retired employees and military veterans of the former Afghan government led by Ashraf Ghani, who rely on their retirement pensions, said that they are struggling with economic difficulties.

A combination of a suspension of foreign aid, the freezing of Afghan government assets, and international sanctions on the Taliban have plunged the country, already suffering from high poverty levels, into a full-blown economic crisis.

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