Hiring 'all the president's men'

Zahid Gishkori May 12, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Allegations of nepotism have surfaced with regard to appointments of new employees in the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

“Only influential people can get jobs in the CDA,” a senior official of CDA told The Express Tribune. “If you succeed in getting a reference from the Prime Minister or President House, you will be hired by the city managers.”

Vacant positions were advertised after the 2009-10 budget was announced. At the moment, there are 886 vacancies in the CDA, the senior official said.

Out of these, 270 seats have been reserved for applicants from Punjab, 66 from rural Sindh, 44 from urban Sindh, 68 from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 36 from Balochistan, 18 from FATA and 9 from AJK. According to the guidelines, the remaining 295 seats will be filled purely on merit, he said.

“The 15-member recruitment committee is under pressure to select candidates who have references from the president, prime minister, interior ministry and so on … I bet all the seats will go to Gilani and Zardari’s men,” the official claimed.

He added that the authority had received around 210 reference letters from the offices [of the president and the prime minister].

CDA Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi neither confirmed nor denied this information.

He acknowledged, however, that political pressure was being exerted on the top management for filling the vacancies.

“Unfortunately, the tide always turns in the favour of ruling parties,” Elahi said.

“I will try my level best to ward off pressure from politicians,” he said. “Merit will be the only criteria for getting jobs in the CDA.”

Meanwhile, Muhammad Imran, who applied for the position of Assistant Director, said: “I did my MBA and am eligible for that post. But I was not even called for the written test. I met Member Administration Mustafain Kazmi in this regard, but he said the CDA cannot accommodate all applications without references.”

Mustafain Kazmi, denied the allegation and said: “Getting a job in the CDA has become a wild goose chase.”

The chairman added that at least 250,000 applications had been received by the human resources department against only 886 seats.

“Everybody cannot be shortlisted,” he said. “We only called those [applicants] who fulfill the criteria,” the chairman added. The interview process for applicants is in its final stages.


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