Favouritism mars process of community welfare attaches’ appointment

Published May 29, 2015
Some candidates allege that the interview process was rigged in the favor of influential candidates,—Creative Commons
Some candidates allege that the interview process was rigged in the favor of influential candidates,—Creative Commons

ISLAMABAD: The recently conducted selection process for appointment of community welfare attaches in Pakistani missions abroad has apparently become controversial after a number of candidates levelled allegations of favouritism and political interference in the exercise.

The affected candidates submitted a representation against the selection process, but have little hope of what one of them says getting justice.

Some of the candidates who spoke to Dawn said they were “contemplating to approach superior courts to get justice”.

The process for appointing 18 community welfare attaches started last November with written tests conducted by the National Testing Service. The test score carried 80 per cent weightage in the final merit, while 10pc marks were to be given on the basis of personal evaluation reports of the officers and the remaining 10pc were left for the interviews.

The written tests, according to the candidates, went well but the controversy started with interviews conducted by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development.

“The 10pc marks reserved for interview were awarded in a whimsical manner by Mr Sikandar Ismaeel, Secretary Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, which drastically upset the entire merit list compiled on the basis of the tests,” one of the affected candidates alleged.

He said because of the controversial award of interview marks nine out of top 18 candidates in the written merit list, including the topper, were eliminated while candidates as low as 57th in test results were selected.

The candidates allege that initially 44 candidates were shortlisted for interviews, but later call letters were sent to 102 for accommodating those who had failed to make to the first shortlist.

“The interview process was rigged in the favor of influential candidates, as the questions framed to them were issue-based and either related to their job or their interest, while the candidates having merit but no sifarish were asked Neelam Ghar (a TV quiz programme) type questions and were summarily dismissed in 5 to 10 minutes,” another affected candidate narrated.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2015

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