A recent Right to Information (RTI) request has unveiled a significant revelation regarding the disbursement of pensions to overseas civil and military pensioners in foreign currencies.
As per the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), 164 pensioners residing abroad receive their pensions in currencies other than the Pakistani rupee, as reported by a national daily.
This revelation contrasts with the concerns voiced by retired government servants in Pakistan who have been highlighting issues related to the non-payment of pensions in rupees.
The matter came to the forefront when RTI activist Naeem Sadiq, prompted by information from an acquaintance about a retired squadron leader abroad receiving a pension in dollars from Pakistan, sought details through an RTI request to the Pakistan Air Force.
Despite the request not including specific names, the information was withheld. Subsequent attempts to obtain information from MoFA and the Accountant General of Pakistan (AGPR) were unsuccessful, leading Sadiq to approach the Pakistan Information Commission (PIC), which also proved unhelpful.
Undeterred, Sadiq elevated the matter to the Islamabad High Court, naming MoFA, Ministry of Defence, and AGPR as parties to the case. Following a court notice, MoFA eventually agreed to share the information, bringing to light a matter that had initially been shrouded in secrecy.