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Issue No.: 570 | December 2014
 

Why this Discrimination?

Suresh C. Sharma
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Tajikistan requested for a hospital to be established at Farkhor, about 130 kms from the capital Dushanbe. It was to serve the local population and the Afghan Northern Alliance soldiers injured in the fighting. 

The Army Headquarters decided to send a Field Ambulance unit to establish a hospital. General Malik, the COAS, was informed that the officers of the ministries of external affairs and defence were not agreeable to treat the posting of personnel to this hospital as ‘foreign posting” which would allow them to get the allowances being drawn by the civilian officers posted there. It was not to be treated as even a "hard area”. General Malik had to speak to Yashwant Sinha, the then External Affairs Minister, to resolve the issue. The hospital did good work to establish rapport with the locals. Massoud who was fatally injured in a suicide attack was rushed to this hospital. Later, this hospital was shifted to Kabul. 

It was not the first time that the Defence Services were denied their due pay and allowances. The battle continues.

Brig. (retd.) Suresh C. Sharma, Mumbai, 
sureshsharma236@yahoo.com

 
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