Throw of dice

Clumsy attempt at getting innovative




Some 845 people were hired in the Rawalpindi Division through some kind of balloting in the Pakistan Railways. Some claim more than half of the selected individuals happened to be from the constituencies of Sheikh Rasheed and his nephew Sheikh Rashid Shafiq. The minister had announced to follow the same procedure for hiring against grade 1 to 5 in other divisions as well.

A report suggests that after assuming power, the PTI government adopted this ‘innovative’ way of hiring people by amending the rules of business. The logic behind this move was to ensure transparency as there was no proper qualification required for these lower grades. Even in one department, the shortlisted candidates for certain posts were selected through balloting ostensibly to avoid any wrongdoings and use of influence by the candidates.

The balloting process itself is not foolproof. In this time and date when there are sophisticated ways of judgeing people’s suitability and aptitude for a certain job, balloting is laughable.

A high court has done the right thing to stop the process of hiring through balloting. It should also declare the hirings already made as null and void and order to hold an inquiry into the matter.

Balloting may be easy and error-free but it certainly is not merit that the ruling party has been trumpeting about. The government departments already are crowded with people from political cadres. Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan International Airlines, various national banks all speak of the worst kind of nepotism and favouritism that have taken down these once profit making entities. PIA, for instance, has the highest number of per aircraft employees in the world yet its services can be safely counted among the worst in the world. Its chronic debts have reached the point where it has become irredeemable. There is no other way than to privatise them. The PMLN and PPP have in large part to be blamed for this crisis in our national institutions. And if the PTI follows in their footsteps, albeit through a new way, there is no hope for our already under performing institutions.