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Old Friday, April 25, 2008
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Default DT: suitability victims: a clarification

there was a report in today's daily times about the suitability victims.

FPSC Suitability Clause ‘victims’ to appeal before high courts

* 21 CSS candidates declared ‘unsuitable’ for occupations of their choice
* Candidates object to reassignment of occupational groups

By Abdul Manan

LAHORE: The ‘victims’ of the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC)’s Suitability Clause will file petitions before high courts across the country, seeking a stay order against their appointments, they told Daily Times on Thursday.

At least 21 Central Superior Services (CSS) examination candidates have fallen ‘victim’ to the Suitability Clause.

Falak Sher (number 57 on the merit list), a candidate from Punjab, has been declared ‘unsuitable’ for a job in the District Management Group (DMG) and has, instead, been assigned to the Customs Department. Sher has decided to lead other disgruntled candidates from Punjab within a few days to file an appeal in the Lahore High Court (LHC) to protest their employment designations.

Syed Mashkoor Ali (179 on the merit list) and Fuad Ghaffar Soomro (116 on the list) belong to Sindh and have been assigned to the Income Tax Department instead of the Customs and the Police (which had been their preferences). They will lead other disgruntled candidates from Sindh to file a petition in the Sindh High Court.

Dr Mohammad Junaid (merit number 154), a candidate from Balochistan, has been assigned a post in the Pakistan Railways instead of the police.

He will lead other disgruntled candidates from Balochistan and file a petition in the Balochistan High Court within a few days for a stay order against their assignations under the Suitability Clause.

Mehmoodur Rehman Khattak (merit 37) has been assigned to the Customs Department instead of his preferred choice of the DMG. He will lead the NWFP’s Suitability Clause ‘victims’.

The five men, who will lead their fellow candidates, told Daily Times on Monday that they would try to get the stay order after which they would submit their applications to the FPSC office. They said they were sure that the FPSC would reject their applications, adding that if this proved to be the case, they would take their appeals to the high courts.

The FPSC issued the final assignation list on April 23 in which 189 CSS candidates were appointed to occupational groups and services. The candidates have been asked to send their acceptance letters via priority mail to the Establishment Division within 15 days otherwise their “offers will be cancelled and no representation [for them] will be entertained”.

Dr Ishrat Hussain, chairman of the National Commission on Government Reforms, told Daily Times that the Suitability Clause would not the bar anyone from sitting the National Executive Service promotion examination.

The candidates said that, previously, the Suitability Clause had been initiated only on two or three candidates every year, which disturbed the complete merit list. This was the reason why the FPSC had not used the Suitability Clause for the last five years, the five men said. “Pakistan is already facing a major brain drain and this step [the use of the clause] has only served to emotionally disturb the most competent brains of the country who have chosen careers in civil service,” they added.

They said that most of the candidates who had suffered because of the clause were from backward areas of the country. They said that this was the first time since the establishment of the FPSC in 1977 that the clause had been used in “such a reckless manner”. They said its implementation was nothing less than “sheer discrimination”.

Dr Junaid, leading the candidates from Balochistan, noted that he had been denied a job in the Income Tax Department even though it had two vacant seats and his merit (154) rendered him eligible to fill one of the posts. He said that ironically, a person with a lower merit (162) was appointed to the police, one of the departments that requires the highest merit. “Declaring me unsuitable for the top seven occupational groups is a violation of my constitutional rights,” he said.

Syed Mashkoor Ali said that he had been declared unsuitable for the Customs Department and suitable for the Income Tax Department despite the fact that both departments were subsidiaries of the Federal Board of Revenue and were financial services. Ali is already working at the Income Tax Department.

Falak Sher said he had been working at the Income Tax group (34 common). He said the FPSC had declared him ineligible for both the police and DMG, even after he had received clearance from the FPSC commission. He was placed at number 57 on the merit list. A seat in the police was given to a candidate with a merit of 162, while those with merit numbers 119, 143 and 154 were denied the job.

The candidates also pointed out another instance in which Saima Saleem, who is physically disabled and placed sixth on the merit list, was appointed to the Foreign Services group. Other candidates said that this was the first time that a disabled person had been appointed to this department. An FPSC official said that if the candidates had applied to the FPSC first, they would get “all answers on their rights”. He said the FPSC chairman had the discretionary power to implement the Suitability Clause on a case-by-case basis. He said the candidates had the right to appeal to the FPSC, but they did not have the right to challenge the commission’s decision.
I just wanted to mention the following points:

I have never talked to any daily times reporter about suing the FPSC. I dont intend to sue them. I am very happy with the group that i have been allocated to. and i am very happy for the others who have gotten the groups they wanted.
it might be a mistake but the wordings in this article make it feel like I have talked to the daily times. I dont intend to lead anyone anywhere, whether they are the NWFP candidates or not, affected or not.
I have sent them an email about it. and i also spoke directly to the person who had written the story. i hope they print their regrets tomorrow.
Mahmood Khattak
Pakistan Customs Service
36th CTP
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Old Monday, April 28, 2008
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I think u should take the daily reporter's correspondent to the court for defamation or wrongful info? what do u think mahmood
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