PESHAWAR: A resident of South Waziristan tribal district has moved the Peshawar High Court challenging appointments to 481 posts of nurses in tribal districts, claiming most of the appointees belong to the settled districts and not tribal ones.

Petitioner Amanullah, who was also one of the candidates for those posts, requested the court to declare illegal and unlawful the health department’s June 27, 2022, notification, which carried the names of 481 selected male and female nurses.

He claimed that in Sept last year, the directorate-general of health services had issued an ‘office order’ about the selection of candidates, including him, on the recommendation of the ‘selection committee’ but in an arbitrary manner, the department didn’t give away appointment letters to those candidates and instead issued the impugned notification.

The petitioner requested the court to direct the respondents, including the health department, to appoint him against one of those posts in light of the Sept 2021 office order and the Oct 24, 2020, relevant advertisement.

Out of 481 selected nurses, only 41 belong to ex-Fata, claims petitioner

He also sought an interim relief in the form of the suspension of the impugned notification until the disposal of the petition.

The petitioner, whose lawyer for the case is Sajjad Ahmad Mehsud, claimed that out of 481 selected nurses, only 41 belonged to tribal districts with majority being the residents of settled districts.

He said the directorate-general of health services had advertised project posts of nurses under the AIP (Accelerated Implementation Programme) Scheme inviting applications from ‘suitable candidates with domiciles of KP preferably tribal districts’.

The petitioner said the appointments were made for the month fixed salary of Rs120,000.

He said the posts for Bajaur tribal district totalled 100, Mohmand’s five, Khyber’s 95, Orakzai’s four, Kurram’s 105, North Waziristan’s 68 and South Waziristan’s 103.

The petitioner said the directorate-general of health service had issued a list of shortlisted candidates on July 13, 2021, placing him at Serial No 248, which was followed by his appearance before an interview panel.

He said the list of selected candidates was issued through an office order on Sept 8, 2021, declaring him qualified for the posts and placed him at Serial No 329.

The petitioner claimed that the respondents, including the directorate general of health services, had stopped issuance of appointment letters to the selected candidates and instead issued the impugned notification was issued on June 27, 2022, wherein his name was removed and was placed in the waiting list.

He contended that competent and eligible candidates were available in tribal districts but they were ignored by the government and candidates from settled districts were mostly selected.

The respondents in the petition are the provincial chief secretary, director-general (health services), departmental selection committee of the health directorate, and planning officer of tribal districts.

Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2022

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