Friday, November 13, 2015

Fake domiciles have made Balochistan’s government jobs’ quota useless

A visit to federal government offices in Islamabad proves that numerous people of other provinces are doing jobs on Balochistan's quota

November 13, 2015

Adnan Aamir

In 1973, a quota system was devised to allocate federal government jobs among all provinces based on population. This system was established to ensure that under developed provinces and territories of Pakistan do not get left out in the federal government jobs and other opportunities. Although, this system is commendable in principle but people of Balochistan have not benefited from it due to the menace of fake domicile certificates of Balochistan issued to people of other provinces.

Before delving into the subject of fake domiciles, the quota system needs to be discussed. There is a lot of criticism regarding this system. Some people call it a human rights violation, while others claim that quota system is holding Pakistan back. In short there is an ignorant group of people who believe that the quota system should be abolished once and for all. That’s absolutely unfair to the people of underdeveloped provinces. Open merit is an illusion in a society like Pakistan where there are radical imbalances in education system. Quota system should remain intact as long as the educational standard of Taftan, a town in Chagai Balochistan, does not parallel educational standards of Lahore.

Federal government jobs might not be a big issue for other provinces but in case of Balochistan they are a huge issue. Firstly, because there is already negligible representation of people of Balochistan in federal apparatus and if no more people are hired then the existing share will further decline. The second reason is the rampant unemployment in the province where government jobs – provincial and federal – are the main source of employment. Therefore, depriving Balochistan of its federal jobs shares directly increases unemployment in the province.

Despite having a 6 percent quota in all of federal government jobs, original people of Balochistan do not have sufficient representation in federal structure. There are many reasons for this injustice. The first reason is that federal bureaucrats sitting in Islamabad often hire their relatives and friends on the job quota of Balochistan without even properly advertising the jobs. This practice is carried out for the small scale jobs. A visit to federal government offices in Islamabad proves that numerous people of other provinces are doing jobs on quota of Balochistan.

This systematic deprivation of Balochistan in federal jobs is made possible due to issue of fake domicile certificates. In every district the Deputy Commissioner (DC), a remnant of colonial past, issues domicile certificates to people. In past when officers from Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were posted as DCs in Balochistan, they issued fake domicile certificates to their relatives. As per estimates, the figure of such domiciles is in tens of thousands. People who possess those domiciles certificates have never visited Balochistan in their lives.

These same people apply for federal government jobs on quota of Balochistan and manage to get selected due to the superior quality education that they have received out of Balochistan. This practice is regularly taking place not only in federal jobs but also in HEC scholarships and all other federal opportunities revered for provinces.

Effectively the issue of fake domicile certificates has rendered the quota of Balochistan useless. There is no one in the federal government to take action against this injustice and Balochistan government is not bothered either. The politicians of Balochistan, including the current chief minister, have issued statements on that issue and that’s it. They are not ready to take practical action to bring an end to this problem.

With a little determination and political will, Balochistan government can compel federal government to solve this problem. The first thing that should be done is that domicile certificates of all the candidates of Balochistan who get selected on federal jobs, from January 2016 onwards, should be verified by the provincial government. This verification should be carried out by a special team set up for the purpose, which would investigate the linkages of domicile holders with any DC or other top ranking government official posted in Balochistan in past. This will help indentify all such bogus domicile holders who have got it through their well connected relatives in government.

Moreover, domiciles of all the existing government employees who are serving on Balochistan quota on jobs of BPS-16 or above must all be verified in second phase. This will be a painstaking task, but it needs to be carried out. All the people who were found to have fake domicile of Balochistan need to be identified. Now, those people who have served in their jobs for years can’t be dismissed. So what needs to be done is that Balochistan should get special allocation in federal jobs equal to the number of people who were found to have got a job on fake domicile certificate of Balochistan. All the monetary benefits that these fake domicile holders have attained during their jobs must be paid to Balochistan by the original province of those candidates.

Government of Balochistan also needs to bring its house in order. It needs to digitize all the records of domicile certificates and put tight checks and balances on issue of new domicile certificates, it must ensure through particular steps that neither Afghan refugees nor people of other provinces are able to acquire or buy fake domicile certificates.

Until and unless these actions are taken, it does not matter if 6 percent job quota of Balochistan remains intact or not, because outsiders can easily get employed on this quota.

1 comment:

  1. All the fake domicile should be cancelled and Balochistan's job quotas should be fulfilled with genuine local jobless Baloch citizens to remove their sense of alienation, marginalization and descriminations directed against them unjustly for decades.