Political Appointments in Sindh by Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani

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Political Appointments in Sindh
by Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani

People of Sindh had played pivotal role during the Pakistan Movement and declaring Karachi as the capital of newly formed country by Quad-e-Azam also showed the strategic importance of the province. The Peoples Party is in power for many decades but the province instead of moving forward towards development and prosperity, the situation is going worst day by day. Various kinds of negative news such as attacks on minorities, kidnappings, killings and social crimes are emerging from Sindh which is once known as the land of peace and love to all.

In my views, the responsible for all the sufferings is Peoples Party government which is badly failed to deliver at all fronts. While the world believes in “Right person at right place for right job”, the bad governance in Sindh is encouraging political appointments in different state institutes and ministries. Such political appointees are normally considered as part of election campaigns and instead of performing their professional duties, the officials choose to accept political pressure to save their illegally-acquired seats.

Recently, I was watching a news TV channel, where renowned anchor Kamran Khan highlighted how the PPP government is politicizing state machinery by inducting their loyalists against all rules and regulations. According to program details, the provincial Information Department has succeed to hire 39 Information Officers by violating all rules and regulations. The degree of Mass Communications is required for all media and information related jobs throughout the globe but situation in Sindh is entirely different where then-Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah himself relaxed the educational qualification to oblige the blue-eyed candidates. The illegal posts were created under the tenure of former Information Minister Sharjeel Memon. Despite appearing in the interview, all deserving qualified candidates were rejected and as a result of re-advertisements in less-known papers, the political appointments were occurred. No written test but walk-in interview became criteria for such important posts. Most ironically, current CM Murad Ali Shah has regularized all these illegal appointments.

The situation is not limited to the Information Department but almost all government institutions are having political appointees who have connections with the PPP leadership. Much has been discussed about the ghost schools and ghost teachers in the province. According to independent reports, hundreds of schools across the province are non-functional but political appointed teachers are enjoying perks and privileges. On the other hand, various ghost schools only exist on papers where PPP loyalists are portraying as teachers. Regular budget is being allocated for these ghost schools but zero end result. There are also reports of nexus between criminals and political appointees whose prime focus to acquire government seat is to make easy money in the form of bribery, commission and kidnapping for ransom. The Sindh Rangers has also said publically that the ghost employees recruited on political grounds should be terminated immediately as they are involved in terrorism. Former IG Sindh Ghulam Hyder Jamali was also accused to appoint as many as 1400 political workers in the Police department. On the recommendations of the Supreme Court, 90% of these Police appointees were failed to secure their seats in a professional examination held. Current IG Sindh A.D Khawaja is an honest police officer who is playing his due role to curb anti-social elements but he was also sent on forced leave by the provincial government due to not fulfilling the demand of political appointments in his department.

An English daily reported that Sindh Assembly’s former secretary Hadi Bux Buriro secured grade 20 positions for all five of his sons with out-of-turn promotions within six years. The NAB also initiated an inquiry against Manzoor Qadir, Director General of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) who have caused a loss of Rs1.48 billion as a result of political appointments.

The list of other government departments where the PPP-led government has inducted political workers, according to media reports, included local governments, water boards, KDA, town councils, hospitals, and KMC. Similarly, the issuance of fake appointment letters is also a burning issue. More than 100 employees were dismissed last year on the complaints of bogus recruitment. The effectees of Sindh Employer Social Security Institution are still seeking justice. It is not understandable that on the one hand, Sindh government issues appointment letters and on the other hand, terms them fake and bogus. All investigative departments look helpless in this regard. Today, when the highly-educated youth is looking suitable jobs desperately, the incompetent officers are holding public offices due to their links with ruling party.

There must not be two opinions that the purpose of establishing state institutes is to facilitate the public. These institutes must be free from political influences and allowed to serve according to rules and regulations. The government machinery will never deliver effective results due to the presence of political appointees in their ranks. We must discourage the ongoing practice of political appointments across the province on ethical grounds as well. The deprive of people’s right and obliging blue-eyed elements is a grave sin in my eyes which creates unrest in the society. The curse of political appointments can only be tackled through the active role of public and the media. I would like to appeal that people must raise voice against unwanted practice so that the media could highlight it without any fear. This is the only way to move our society towards betterment.

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