Minority job quota

Official lethargy might be chief reason for delay in filling vacant positions with those for whom they are meant

October 01, 2021

It has come as a surprise during the hearing of a case in Supreme Court that more than 30,000 jobs in the government sector across the country, reserved for minorities, are lying vacant. The top court expressed its displeasure over such a large number of job slots, meant for minorities, remaining unfilled. The matter came up during the hearing of a suo motu case pertaining to ‘the violation of the sanctity of a Hindu temple’ in Rahim Yar Khan. A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed, was hearing the case.

A one-man commission for minority affairs had been set up over matters relating to the temple. The commission, headed by Shoaib Suddle, apprised the Supreme Court that the job quota did not specifically mention Hindus, Sikhs, Christians or others. The court took serious notice of the reported failure of the federal, Punjab, K-P and Balochistan governments to fill the minority job quota. The court instructed that the relevant authorities should cooperate with one another in removing grievances of the minority communities with regard to job-related issues, and asked them to submit a progress report in this respect. The top court expressed satisfaction that the government has rebuilt the affected parts of the temple in RYK. On August 5, misguided elements had ‘vandalised the temple in retaliation for violation of the sanctity of a seminary’.

It is disquieting that in these days of high unemployment, 30,000 jobs are lying vacant. Official lethargy might be the chief reason for the delay in filling these vacant positions with those for whom they are meant. The other likely reason might be the lack of information among the minorities that thousands of jobs reserved for them are waiting to be filled. The authorities should ensure prompt appointment of minority candidates for these jobs. The minorities have been allocated a 5% quota in government jobs, so it is mandatory to fill these job slots with minority candidates.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2021.

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