More than four dozen members of a family appointed in health dept

Published: December 5, 2016

SUKKUR: The jobless youth often complain about recruitments in government departments on the basis of favouritism and nepotism. To an extent, this holds true as most government positions are filled on the basis of favouritism, nepotism or political affiliations, overlooking merit. An awful example of this can be seen in Mirpur Mathelo, where more than four dozen members of a family have been appointed without interviews or tests, on different posts at Civil hospital and the district health office.

A malaria supervisor at the Mirpur Mathelo district health office, Farman Ali Pitafi, and others wrote a letter to different senior officials, highlighting this irregularity but nothing was done. Later, they sent an appeal to the Supreme Court, which took notice of the situation and fixed a hearing on December 7 in Islamabad.

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Following the notice by the apex court, the provincial health secretary appointed the additional secretary of the health department as an inquiry officer to probe the matter.

According to the list of employees who belong to the Chadhar community, five sons of Muhammad Ramzan Chadhar have been appointed on various posts, while the other employees on the list also belong to the same family.

One of Ramzan’s sons, Manzoor Ahmed, was appointed as a senior clerk in the pay scale of nine and within the next couple of years was promoted to the post of assistant office superintendent in the pay scale 17. Similarly, his other son, Iqbal Ahmed, was appointed as an attendant with a pay scale of two and was promoted to the post of statistical assistant in the pay scale of 17. His other son, Muneer Ahmed, was appointed as a sanitary worker in the pay scale of two and was promoted to the post of assistant in the pay scale of 14.

Pitafi claimed that all these persons used to get salaries while sitting at home and whenever any officer tried to take action against them, they would blackmail the officers by threatening to go on boycott and getting the officer transferred. All these appointments, which have been made without announcing posts in newspapers or holding interviews or tests, have been made from 2009 till date, said Pitafi. “When I pinpointed this irregularity, they got me transferred, first to Hyderabad and then to Kandhkot, and I am still serving in Kandhkot,” he said.

According to Pitafi, all the medical superintendents of Civil Hospital, Mirpur Mathelo, and the district health officers of Mirpur Mathelo seemed helpless, because this family is in the majority and has the political backing of influential politicians.

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“The Chadhar community men are so powerful that no one, not senior officials, MPAs or MNAs, can take any action against them,” Pitafi claimed. During the first tenure of the Pakistan Peoples Party, he said, one of the MPAs complained against them and when the inquiry was ordered, the MPA withdrew his application. Now, he said, the Chadhar community men are hurling threats at us but we have decided to go to the highest forum against them so that people can get rid of them once and for all.

Civil Hospital, Mirpur Mathelo, medical superintendent Dr Khalil Katpar and district health officer Dr Abubakar Shaikh were unavailable for comments. However, the health secretary confirmed that an inquiry into these appointments is underway.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2016.

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