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Old Tuesday, June 10, 2014
abdul.rauf abdul.rauf is offline
42nd CTP (PAS)
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Default Here goes mine

I know I am too late in posting this but this may be of interests to candidates
in the future .

*I entered the room and greeted everyone*
Chairman: Have a seat Abdul Rauf. Your profile says you are from Hyderabad?
Me: Yes sir. My hometown is Hyderabad, but I am currently settled in Karachi due to my job.
Chairman: What do you think about incumbent PPP govt in Sindh? Keeping in mind that they not in power in Centre? What is difference between their previous and present tenure?
Me: Unlike its past stint, PPP is in very comfortable position in Sindh this time. Since they have got no central government to run, there is no excuse of appeasing the coalition partner at their disposal. With same CM and almost similar faces in the cabinet, I can not see any visible difference in their governance style vis-a-vis the previous term. But it's too early to comment as it's been less than a year they have assumed the charge.
Chairman: So, what do you suggest them to do?
Me: Sir, I've always believed that it only takes a handful of assertive and efficient individuals to bring about a positive change in the society, especially when it comes to administrative sphere. My advice to Sindh government would be to include new and promising faces, particularly the youth, both in the cabinet and bureaucracy. Syed Awais Muzaffar was one such Minister who was doing a relatively better work.
Chairman: Are you urdu speaking or sindhi?
Me: Sir, I belong to a sindhi family originating from Rajasthan, India; and courtesy diverse peer group, I can fluently communicate in urdu, punjabi and seraiki.
Chairman: That's good. How do you see urdu-sindhi communities' conflict in sindh?
Me: Owing to ethnic and linguistic plurality of Sindh, particularly its urban areas, it has got its fair share of inter-group tensions. Courtesy its economic potential, Karachi is a major battleground whose proportional control is desired by not only these two major linguistic groups but by pakhtoons, makrani balochs and punjabis as well. The sum result of which is an overall political conflict. However, being someone who comes from a multi ethnic peer and work group, let me assure you that there is no serious acrimony when it comes to a common man. The only blame lies with the hawks in top cadres of almost all political parties in sindh viz PPP, MQM and ANP.
Chairman: How could you be so naive? Can you deny the ethnic riots that resulted in loss of hundreds of lives in 90s era?
Me: Sir allow me to pose a question in response to this, how many miscreants do you think it takes to initiate an anarchy or a pogrom for that matter? Probably a few dozen! - keeping in view that lawlessness was order of the day back then. We can not generalise the situation and say that people at large belonging to both groups are at each others throats. *smilingly* I can responsibly assure you, sir, that common man on both sides of the fence equally despised these killings, then as well as now.
Chairman: Ok gentleman. You were allocated in Pakistan Audit & Accounts Service in 2011, why didn't you join?
Me: Sir, I applied for re-deferment of my CTP as I had to continue my present job for one more year due to financial needs. But my request was turned down, so I had to relinquish my seat. *surprisingly, no cross questioning*

Mansoor Suhail: In your psychological proforma you have mentioned reading as one of your hobbies, whose biographies have you read so far?
Me: Sir, Nelson Mandela, Benazir Bhutto, Winston Churchill to name a few. And the discussion continued on the book: Daughter of the East...
MS: In your opinion what are the 3 major crisis faced by Pakistan since its establishment?
Me: To me, the first crisis was death of our founding father. Some people would disagree and say that the administrative and financial problems confronted by the nascent state of Pakistan were collectively the single most important challenge faced by the country. However, I strongly believe that they were mere effects of incapacity of the then government, and a strong leader of Mr Jinnah's stature would have easily steered our ship from these troubled waters, as was the case with India under Nehru.
The second most challenging crisis arose in the form of dissolution of constituent assembly by GG Ghulam Muhammad and the subsequent infamous judgement of Molvi Tamizuddin Khan's case. This is the most unfortunate chapter of our national history whose long term ill effects included overly strong executive at the expense of legislature, authoritarian head of the State & the subsequent promulgation of 58-2B, role of establishment in politics and most unfortunately the judiciary's tacit approval to all the misdeeds committed by the powerful ruling class.
MS: *interrupting* So, has judiciary been able to exonerate itself from the past crimes?
Me: Unfortunately, the misdeeds committed by our worthy courts - including legitimising military coups, ZAB's judicial murder etc - are of so serious nature that it is not easy to wash away all the past sins so conveniently. However, the recent lawyers’ movement and the subsequent evolution of relatively free judiciary calls for much optimism.
MS: *again cutting me short* And 3rd most biggest challenge?
Me: Undoubtedly, the dismemberment of our Eastern wing in 1971.
MS: Have we learnt anything from this tragic incident?
Me: Yes sir, the state of Pakistan, after much hesitation and many a bitter lesson, has finally realised that salvation of its federation lies in ensuring provincial autonomy. The recently concluded 7th NFC award, decentralisation under 18th constitutional amendment and the political will to pay heed to Balochistan's woes are living testaments to this fact.
There were few other opinion based simple questions asked by Mansoor sb which I can not recall at the moment.

Madam Batool Iqbal: Rauf, in your proforma you have have mentioned Three Cups of Tea as one of your favorite books citing the reason that one man can bring a positive change in the society. Don’t you think it was courageous on the part of that young girl too who asked the author to build a school in her area.
Me: Indeed Madam, in this age of indifference, anyone who stands up for his or her rights and dreams something that is apparently deemed as impossible, is worthy of respect and applause.
BI: But some people claim that no such infrastructure exists on ground and the book is full of lies?
Me: I can’t be sure about all the claim of dozens of schools built across out tribal areas by this particular person but even if half of the claimed work is done, it’s a huge achievement. After all what the ruling class of this country couldn’t achieve in so many decades, was done by a single individual.
BI: Well, I belong to that area; and having worked with them, let me assure you this all the development work claimed in this book is for real.
Me: It’s so relieving to know this from a credible source. Thank you for this information, madam.
BI: After reading the book Daughter of the East, how do you appraise BB’s personality?
Me: Well, I’ve always had my differences with her especially with reference to her performance during two (incomplete) stints in PM office. However, after coming across her story, I couldn’t resist admiring her for her persistence (despite victimisation and incarceration under Zia’s junta), political acumen, graceful aura and above all remarkable courage with which she confronted the adversities.
BI: How do you compare Bilawal with her? Would you vote for him?
Me: I believe Bilawal has a long way to go to prove his political mettle. For Benazir, it was not a simple case of assuming the party leadership based on a political will of the preceding leader. Yes dynastic factor was there, but she undertook many difficulties to earn her position. Bilawal is still to get a real taste of populist politics of Peoples Party. However, at present, despite all his inexperience and isolation from the ground realities, I would applaud his brave stance on the issues of religious extremism and minorities’ rights. Infact, he sounds like the sole embodiment of leftist ideology in present day national polity. Full marks to the rhetoric but we will judge him on his actions when the time comes. *smiles*
As far as second part of your question is concerned, voting is a very serious national obligation and I can not decide it unless I know who are contesting against him. It’s only after a relative comparison, one should make a final decision while electing a legislator.
BI: Good *I could clearly see, she appreciated the answer*, but don’t you think voters have very limited options? Either PPP or PMLN!
Me: One can only be partially correct is assuming this. As you can see that after 1st democratic transition from one elected government to another, we have already witnessed the rise of third force (PTI) in our electoral politics. Allow democracy few more successful transitions, you would be amazed to see the number of serious voting choices available at your disposal.
This was followed by couple of questions on social problems of Pakistan which I am unable to rephrase at this time correctly.

Wajid Rana: What principles were agreed upon in treaty of Berlin 1884?
Me: I am afraid sir, I can not recall it at the moment.
WR: What do you know about “Sur Sarang” of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai?
Me: Sorry sir. No idea.
WR: In one of earlier questions you admired Awais Muzaffar, are you indirectly supporting corruption here?
Me: *Feigning ignorance* How can we say this sir?
WR: Well, the Supreme Court in the recent case pertaining to law and order in Karachi observed his involvement in land grabbing instances. It was widely reported in press as well.
Me: Pardon my ignorance sir, but was he implicated in the said case?
WR: *smiling* No, but his reputation is well known.
Me: I may be wrong sir but I honestly think that he should not be judged based on the public opinion, unless the charges against him are proved in the court of law.
WR: If we allocate you in DMG (it was my first choice), would this be your general approach towards your subordinates with dubious credentials?
Me: Sir, this would be a different story altogether as I would have a first-hand experience of working with the accused. And in this case, if prima facie evidence goes against him, I would make sure that the accused person is relieved of the important responsibilities and kept under vigilant observation. However, his ultimate fault or innocence (whatever the case may be) would be established based on the verdict laid down after an impartial tribunal enquiry.
Then he asked one or two questions based on real-life situations likely to be faced by a potential DMG officer to which I responded in a usual clichéd manner.
WR: *while having his eyes on wall clock* Ok, last question gentleman: how do you see the recent decision of dialogue with TTP? Does the law of the land permit this?
Me: Well, sir, strictly speaking in legal terms there is no question of extending the status of a stakeholder and coming to terms with any anti-State group which do not respect the constitution of the country. My sentiments are also no different than this, considering the loss of so many compatriots at the hand of these barbarians. But leadership is all about making the tough decisions and finding out possibilities in impossible situations. Our national history is full of compromises in the greater national interests, let there be another in the name of ‘doctrine of necessity’ – one last time.
*everybody laughed and nodded*
WR: Yes this “doctrine of necessity” continues to haunt us. Thank you gentleman, you may leave now.
Me: Thank you. I am honoured to present my candidature infront of this worthy panel.

Highlights:
Time duration: around 50 minutes.
Overall ambience: Interview was held in a very congenial manner. There were lots of smiles and very few cross questions (save few instances). Unlike previous panels, I found them to be better listeners which gave me an opportunity to express myself easily (probably the fact that I was the first one being interviewed on that particular day contributed towards their lighter mood). Infact, the easy nature of questions that they posed in our exam centre made almost everyone (including me) believe they were least interested in the whole exercise and marks would be awarded proportional to written scores. But we were very wrong in this assumption.
Award: 196/300.
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