Military war veterans to battle govt on Pay Commission report

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Chandigarh, Sep 30 (UNI) Agitated over anomalies in the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, the war veterans of the Northern states today threatened to come out on the roads and asked all the ex-servicemen to join hands to take on the government.

A meeting of the war veterans of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh held here under the chairmanship of Lt Gen (retd) P N Hoon and Col G S Sandhu strongly condemned the harsh language and threats used by the Defence Minister against the service Chiefs, when they refused to send to the CDA bills for payments of recommended pay hikes till all the anomalies are addressed.

''National level political parties will have to pay heavily in the coming Parliamentary elections, if they don't support the demands of military veterans,'' Lt Gen Hoon said while addressing mediapersons after the meeting.

No national level political party has come out in a big way to support the cause of the ex-servicemen and serving military personnel, he added. Even though both the Congress and BJP had included the long pending demand of 'one-rank-one-pension' in their election manifestoes, they have not implemented it, he pointed out.

''There is a deep sense of hurt and resentment resulting in low morale of the armed forces,'' Lt Gen Hoon said.

Col Sandhu pointed out that there was an acute shortage of over 13,000 officers and a large number of officers were opting for premature retirement to move to the more lucrative corporate sector and this was adversely affecting battle readiness. The government must know that in war there is no runner-up, he added.

If things continue, the nation will have to pay a heavy price for deliberate and systematic downgrading of the order of precedence by the unholy nexus of politicians, bureaucrats and police, Col Sandhu said while pointing out that earlier the constituted Pay Commissions also had no Defence representative and as a result, the demands of the Defence Forces were ignored as has been done now.

Inspite of repeated requests, the Sixth Pay Commission and even the Review Committee had no Defence member, Col Sandhu lamented. The IAS officers, who were used to comfortable luxurious life style, could not possibly imagine the ever-present danger to the lives of the defence personnel and harsh living conditions, the endure.

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