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Saturday, August 15, 2009

40 Years Of Pakistan Post Office (1947-1987) (1987-13)

The year 1987 marks forty years of dedicated service of the Pakistan Post Office to the people of this country. Regulated under the authority of the Post. Office Act, 1898, it derives its origin from the postal systems introduced by the Muslim emperors in the sub continent. The most efficient was the extensive net-work of post-relays at caravansaries established by Emperor Shershah Sun in the 16th century. In 1852, Sind had the distinction of being the first province in British India to adopt a uniform postage rate and to issue a postage stamp.

On Independence, Pakistan inherited a postal system, which was limited in extent to only towns and cities. Very few villages had the facility of a post office. The total number of post offices in Pakistan (then West Pakistan) was only 3036.

Inspite of financial constraints, Pakistan Post Office has been steadily carrying on the expansion of postal services in the country through the successive five year plans. From 3036 in 1947, the number of post offices has increased to more than 12200 in 1987. These post. offices have an establishment of about 48,000 and are spread throughout the country, even in remotest areas where no other government agency has so far penetrated.
In addition to its principal job, the Post Office in Pakistan by virtue of its vast organisation is utilised to perform several functions on behalf of other departments of Federal and Provincial Governments, like payment of pension to retired personnel of defence forces, savings bank, postal life insurance, issue and renewal of broadcast receiver licenses, renewal of motor driving and arms licenses, collection of motor vehicles tax etc.
On an annual average,, Pakistan Post Office handles over 700 million pieces of mail, collects deposits of Rs. 2500 million through its savings bank, provides life insurance cover to 18000 people, transfers over Rs. 2000 million through money order service and collects about Rs. 400 million of taxes on behalf of Federal and Provincial Governments besides paying about Rs. 1350 million to civil and military pensioners.
The Government of Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo, in pursuance of its Five Point Programme, has concentrated on the modernization of postal services. Consequently, an Air Mail Express Service (Airex) was introduced from 2.8,1986 connecting 19 principal cities in the country. It ensures same-day or quickest possible delivery of mail at destinations. The Data Post or Expedited Mail Service was introduced in the international sector from 1.9.1986. This service presently embraces 30 countries and is being gradually extended to more and more countries. The Urgent Mail Service (UMS) which now connects 60 cities was introduced from 1st January, 1987 mainly for the fast conveyance of letter-mail. This service has received wide and positive response from the people. There has been persistent demand from public representatives in the Parliament to extend it to more and more towns. The traffic in UMS starting from 11000 articles during January 1987 has now reached an average of 3 ac pieces per month. The Local Packet and Parcel Service (LPS) was introduced on 22.4.1987 in all big cities for delivery of local parcels and packets on the very day of booking at rates considerably lower than those charged for outstation articles. The system of Postcode, facilitating proper addressing by the public and accurate sorting by the post office, is being implemented from 1.1.1988. An Electronic Mail Service, initially connecting principal towns in the country, is to be introduced from 1.3.1988. In the financial sector, the Postal Draft Service (PDS) was launched on 15 November, 1987. The Savings Bank Mobile Account for travelling executives is being introduced from 12 January 1988 and the Postal Giro from 15 March, 1988. Several new policies are being floated by the Postal Life Insurance during the next few months. The accounts and statistics of the Post Office Department including Savings Bank and PLI are being computerised by January, 1988. To improve the speed of mails and counter operations, the Post Office is also planning for a major thrust in mechanization and transport.
For the welfare of the staff and their dependents, the Department has recently established a Post Office Foundation which has started several industrial and commercial projects. The profit from these projects is utilized to finance the education of the dependents of lower grade staff and to help them in subsidizing their family income by setting up cottage industries.
Modern technology has opened wider vistas of progress for the Post Office in Pakistan. The introduction of mechanization and automation and the resulting increase in productivity of postal services in advanced countries are offering new challenges to the planners in Pakistan Post Office. The Post of the pre-independence period is being rapidly replaced with the Post of a modern Islamic State reverberating with steady economic development and social improvement. The impetus of technical progress cannot be stemmed and the Post Office in Pakistan must move with the time.
The issue of a special stamp on the completion of 40 years of its service by the Pakistan Post Office commemorates its past and reflects its resolve to move towards new horizons.
To commemorate 40 Years of Pakistan Post Office, Pakistan Post Office is issuing a stamp of Rs. 3/- denomination on December 28~1987.