The provincial education department had appointed 211 teachers in Hyderabad in the year 2012 - at a time when there were no vacancies to allow for their appointment, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The appointments were made on the special recommendations of the chief minister and a senior minister of the provincial cabinet. The alleged illegal appointments were revealed during an inquiry conducted by the chief minister’s inspection team (CMIT) that is investigating appointments in various departments that have been made against the rules.
According to the inquiry report available with The Express Tribune, around 419 teachers were to be appointed and applications were invited through advertisement only for Hyderabad district. However, 628 persons were appointed to the posts, thus making 211 excessive appointments.
Many of the candidates possessed domiciles of districts other than Hyderabad. “They were supposed to be purely district-based appointments, but candidates from Benazirabad, Dadu, Sanghar, Ghotki, Naushero Feroze and Khairpur were also inducted in the list of candidates that was received from the chief minister and former education minister, Pir Mazharul Haq,” the then Hyderabad Schools director Shamsuddin Dal confessed before the CMIT.
The director, besides his own confessional statement, has also provided the list he had received from the CM House through fax which comprised the names of many candidates who had not even appeared for the written tests or interviews. “Around 100 candidates did not provide the domiciles and other necessary documents, but received the appointment letters. A few of those who belonged to other districts made their domiciles after getting the appointment letters,” said one of the members of investigation team. The member added that a recruitment committee was formed by the education department, but its members had no other option but to accept the directives issued by the CM and the education minister.
The inquiry report goes on to say that even the district accounts officer of Hyderabad did not object to the appointments and allowed the salaries to be disbursed to the 211 excessive teachers. “The then special secretary to the CM, Nazar Muhammad Bozdar, had also ordered the schools director to appoint his favoured candidates to the posts,” said one of the members of the CMIT, adding that they had also received complaints about backdated appointments. “Some teachers were appointed in 2012, but were given backdated appointment letters from 1998-99.”
The backdated appointment orders were prepared by the district education officers of Kamber Shahdadkot, Dadu, Larkana and Sukkur. Earlier, an inquiry was ordered by higher authorities but was later stopped due to undisclosed reasons. “We have again taken up this issue after having received a number of complaints,” said the CMIT member.
Nazir Dhoon, another member of the CMIT, said that the team had recorded the statements of various stakeholders involved in the appointment process and will submit the report to chief minister soon. Meanwhile, Haji Muzaffar Shurja, coordinator to the chief minister on inquiries, refuted the direct involvement of the chief minister in the induction of these teachers. He added, however, that the involvement of the CM secretariat could not be ruled out. “At the moment, it is premature to derive any conclusions as we have to record the statements of some other officials. After that we will have a clear picture,” he said, adding that the employees were still getting their salaries which would only be stopped after terming their appointments null and void. “Outsiders cannot be given the jobs in district and union council-based appointments. Massive irregularities have been uncovered in the education department and we have started reviewing the appointments process in order districts as well,” said Shujra.
For his part, the then education minister, Pir Mazharul Haq, disputed the allegations that he had given a list of his favorite candidates to the Hyderabad schools director. “Many people have leveled allegations against me, but not a single one has been proved thus far,” he said, adding that the Pakistan Peoples Party believes in merit and jobs were given without discrimination.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2014.