Shady recruiters lure innocent women by posing as SSUET administration

Published: November 14, 2010
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Text messages ask ‘young, pretty, beautiful girls’ to apply as invigilators.

Text messages ask ‘young, pretty, beautiful girls’ to apply as invigilators.

KARACHI: Most women would dismiss a text message specifically asking ‘young, pretty, beautiful girls’ to apply for a job, as did 18-year-old Sahar.

“A job advertisement as derogatory as this is fishy, especially when it is a text message from a random number,” revealed Sahar’s 40-year-old aunt Ayesha Khan. She discovered a group of men looking for young women after her niece forwarded her texts advertising jobs.

“The text I responded to seemed more professional and after all, they were looking for invigilators,” Khan told The Express Tribune. The job was to invigilate exams at Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) and she was asked to send in her CV along with a recent picture.

My daughter asked me why I needed to send in a picture for a job interview but I dismissed her concern, said Khan. She was called in for an interview on October 28 for invigilating exams at the SSUET ‘Clifton campus’ on November 1.

At the interview

“I was suspicious when the appointment was changed from Gulistan-e-Jauhar to Khadda market,” said Khan. She re-read her text messages to realise that there was no SSUET campus in Clifton.

The interview was not conducted by a SSUET member but rather a man named Zain, who strangely claimed that he worked for the British Council. “The office was actually a dirty, unkempt apartment and did not look like an office at all,” said Khan.

“Many other young females were present to give interviews and Zain was conducting them, but there were two or three other young males present at the office eyeing the girls,” Khan said. She sat and waited for her turn but when she started asking questions about the job and who organised the recruitment, the young men began whispering and started to look uncomfortable. She was called in before her turn.

“It almost seemed as if I was conducting the interview rather than being interviewed myself,” she said, adding, “He was a young man in his mid or late 20s and was clearly apprehensive after I questioned him about the job which I was now sure didn’t exist.”

The interview lasted less than five minutes. She was told she could leave and would be called if she was needed so she sat in the waiting room to wait for her car.

“I informed him that I had never heard of a Clifton campus and this made him uneasy,” Khan recalled.

“We will call you if we need you,” the man responded, rushing off into the other room.

Khan continuously requested the other younger girls to leave with her because she thought the situation was a setup and the men were frauds. She said that she felt it was her responsibility as the only mature adult to get these girls out while they could go. “A very beautiful young girl had entered the room for an interview after me and came out in less than two minutes,” she said.

The girl was asked to stay back for another interview with the ‘boss’. “My suspicions were confirmed and I felt so helpless when this naive girl, almost my daughter’s age, refused to leave with me,” Khan said, adding, “I left the apartment but only one girl who was there from Gulshan with her mother listened to my pleas”.

“We have come all the way from Gulshan and spent so much money on a rickshaw,” said the mother of the 20-year-old girl. The young woman belonged to a working class background and had come in the hope of finding a well-paying job but her mother said they made the right choice by leaving. “Nothing is more important than my daughter’s izaat,” she said.

At SSUET

A curious Khan then called up the university to inquire whether they had advertised for invigilators. She was immediately called in for a meeting with the alarmed SSUET administration.

Deputy Registrar Aamir Hussain clarified that the university did not need invigilators as the teachers do the job when exam time comes. “We were shocked to find out that our university’s name was being used for such horrendous things,” said Hussain. SSUET had not advertised for invigilators and there is no campus in Clifton. Registrar Shah Mahmood H. Syed said the university had no connection with the advertisement and that they were unaware this was happening. They thanked Khan for informing them. “We will do everything in our power to trace those criminals and make sure they are put in jail,” said Shah.

(Names have been changed to protect privacy)

Published in The Express Tribune, November 14th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Nov 14, 2010 - 12:53PM

    Welcome to the land of the Pure. Recommend

  • Ali Haider
    Nov 14, 2010 - 12:54PM

    Such things happen all the time all over the world. It is not specifically Pakistan only where this is happening. What is important is that law enforcement plays its role to bring these people down. This incident has unfortunately happened in Pakistan where no such action will take place because who knows if a police official or two are involved in it themselves.Recommend

  • reader
    Nov 14, 2010 - 1:19PM

    Well done Ms. Khan, we need women of your caliber in our society where young girls/womens lured for good job opportunities find themselves in the wrong hand & becomes victim…Recommend

  • muhammad aslam
    Nov 14, 2010 - 1:21PM

    our society has always viewed women as sex objects first & foremost.No matter how much we love to condemn the west,atleast they have a high proportion of their women employed in all the fields of life & in senior management positions.

    In our society females can only be mothers,daughters,sisters or wives.Female CEO’s,directors can’t be tolerated by our men as they consider it a personal insult to take orders from a woman.Women are best left at home,to cook & clean & function as baby popping machines only.

    A lot of blame for this mentality lies with the mothers who raise their sons as misogynistic cavemen(which is a vast majority of our society),we hear it all the time as mothers go on about loose,flirty girls trying to lead astray their innocent,parhnay likhnay wala sharif bacha.
    when boys from birth hear their mothers commenting on girls as objects that lead men astray,then naturally when they grow up,they’ll behave like the exploiters mentioned in this article.Recommend

  • Hasan Naqvi
    Nov 14, 2010 - 1:24PM

    Sick ppl..May God help us..!!!Recommend

  • Saba
    Nov 14, 2010 - 3:32PM

    Job via text msg? Interview inside a grimy apartment? Those guys need to be found and jailed, but girls really need to stop being so naive. Recommend

  • Moazzam Salim
    Nov 14, 2010 - 4:56PM

    I am amazed that anyone would fall for this kind of thing. It is common knowledge that nothing authentic ever comes out of sms’s and yet I am reading that lots of girls actually fell for it? I feel sad for these innocent souls but it is really hard to believe that in this age and time there actually is someone so naive!! And I would say that guardians/parents of these girls are also to be blamed in encouraging such innocence. Anybody who has gone through a certain level of education in our institutions, who consumes what our print and electronic media has to offer should not be so naive!! but then again…may be I am being naive too.Recommend

  • diablo
    Nov 14, 2010 - 6:26PM

    I believe that everyone is so desperate to start earning to support their families that they keep fooling themselves into believing that such text-based recruitment can be true. It is not about being naive, its about being desperate for a job. However, people should also keep an eye on small details that give out the “true evil objective” of such interviews….Recommend

  • Nov 14, 2010 - 7:07PM

    What needs to be done is for these people to be found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Impersonating is a crime and to do so fraudulently (PPC 420). The numbers from which the calls were made, etc. need to be preserved and the text messages, etc.

    The FIA and CPLC both need to be notified. The worst thing one can do is to further dismiss this and not report it to the LEA.Recommend

  • nadiyah rahman
    Nov 14, 2010 - 7:50PM

    Girls responding to these texts are doing the most lame thing imginable if you ask me!Recommend

  • Kunwar Moeez Khan
    Nov 15, 2010 - 1:09AM

    Its really sad to know of such incidents specially when its associated with my University. The police should conduct a raid on that apartment building and bring in people for questioning.

    Secondly, Miss Khan you may have a little problem but i suggest that you bring your daughter to the campus and see the photographs of students. May be she can identify them through the university records.Recommend

  • ahmad uzair
    Nov 15, 2010 - 2:49AM

    ms khan done a very brave job. n these incidents indicate immaculate evidences why allah is unhappy with us .duw to these criminals and due to the people who are behind and supporting these rats. The system is soo much insecure ..our daughter,sisters are now not even respected and they cant just have a proper job or sumthing like that to get a honoest living!!!!!Recommend

  • Jafakush
    Nov 15, 2010 - 6:38AM

    Good thing she told her aunty. It is better to discuss with family in personal and professional matters.Recommend

  • Nov 15, 2010 - 3:35PM

    OmG. This is so sad seriously. And this practice is not just done under covers. At many jobs, girls are offered ‘shortcuts’. And mind you, these jobs are not as shady as the one mentioned here, they are big multinationals and banks and media firms. Too sad that people don’t have anything better to do!Recommend

  • A
    Nov 15, 2010 - 4:28PM

    This is very shameful, Miss Khan why took this shameful decision of forwarding girls with such message. Also, what the hell parents are doing … Are our childrens (girls) for this purpose, that they could be used in such shameful way. Please please please, don’t let them do such shameful advertisement marketing jobs … Are our childrens (girls) for this purpose!

    It should be an eye opener who don’t understand the command of viel of islam.

    If someone is that needy, do the jobs which can be done remaining within your home. Freelancing work, Sewing, etc … and this would save our generation, infact this was the practice of our pious elders too.Recommend

  • Haider
    Nov 16, 2010 - 5:24AM

    Though not new, but definitely a very sad account.
    I am willing to help the victims, by seeking legal support through the LEA, unconditionally.Recommend

  • Shahida Kazi
    Nov 19, 2010 - 10:05AM

    The whole story seems to me to be fiction.Ad on sms asking for young beautiful girls and that also for invigilators?Dont the girls know the meaning of that word? And how do they connect that job with youth and beauty?I am sorry the whole thing is illogical.And if they asked for photos with applications,how come a 40 year old woman was called for interview?I know a lot of shady things happen in our country just like the world but the jobs advertised are ususally of sales persons or recetionists or other office staff,not invigilators Recommend

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