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October 2, 2012

No Policy, Law About the Elderly in Pakistan

 No policy, law about the elderly in Pakistan

2 October 2012

President Asif Ali Zardari has reiterated the government’s commitment to continue working for the welfare and protection of elderly people.

In a message on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons falling on October 1, Zardari called up philanthropists and the affluent members of society to step forward and play their role.
“Through concerted action by all, the private and the public sector, we can make the lives of elderly more comfortable and meaningful,” he said.
In a similar message, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said the older people are repository of experience, knowledge and wisdom as they have been through thick and thin in life.

Meanwhile, Global Age Watch which gathers data and analyses on population ageing in a report has pointed out that thanks to empty rhetoric from successive governments, Pakistan has neither a policy on ageing nor a national legislation for older people.

Population trends in the country indicate that the percentage of people of 60 years or more is 6.5 per cent and by 2050 this will rise to 15.8 per cent. With a ranking of 123 out of 195 countries in terms of percentage of population aged 80-plus, Pakistan doesn’t have a comprehensive pension system, says the report.
According to the Planning Commission, the population with 60 years or more will increase from 3.78 million in 2011 to 4.31 million by 2015 and 7.45 million by 2030.

The latest national review and appraisal report under the ‘Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing’ submitted to the United Nations by the ministry of human resource development says the population of older persons in Pakistan is very small because of high incidence of heart diseases, diabetes, hepatitis, tuberculosis, malaria, diarrhoea, kidney diseases and water-borne diseases in the country.
The report submitted to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific for its second review and appraisal of the international plan of action that concluded last week admitted that Pakistan neither had a policy on ageing nor a national legislation for older people.
The report recommended that Pakistan should replicate the Expanded Senior Citizens Act, introduced by the Philippines which provided social pension to the older persons.

 SOURCE:    KhaleeJTimes
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