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Baluchistan always remains in the spotlight; from insurgency to sectarian killings and from mutilated dead bodies to stories of missing persons. One can be forgiven if he thinks that all news emanating from the province is more or less about terrorism or the law and order situation. Apart from that, very few people across Pakistan or in international community, know anything about the affairs of provincial government and the basic issues faced by ordinary people in the province.

twit2.pngBaluchistan is no different from the rest of the country when it comes to corruption, embezzlement, favoritism and nepotism. Last year, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested Mushtaq Raisani, former Finance Secretary on the alleged charges of embezzling billions of money. The NAB also seized Rs730 million in cash and jewelry worth nearly Rs40 million from his residence in Quetta. But then unfortunately let him off – after a deal.

Nepotism and favoritism

Last Friday on 10th March 2017, the provincial assembly echoed with another shameful scandal of nepotism and favoritism in the recruitment of 400 vacant government vacancies; in one of its most important departments– Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD). This department is at the heart of the provincial government that runs almost every affair of the province.

If we want to see the province and the country at par with the rest of the world, the government have to establish clear strategies to promote merit and professionalism.

Sardar Abdur Rahman Khetran of JUI-F, Mir Aasim Kurd Gilo of ruling PML-N and some other parliamentarians revealed that 400 government vacancies had been distributed and filled through so-called drawing/lottery in one go. This is one of the worst demonstration of nepotism and favoritism in the history of Baluchistan and even Pakistan and this is the case with almost every government departments in the province.

In December 2016, the former Chief Secretary of Baluchistan, Saifullah Chattha directed the authorities concerned to take measures for filling 35,000 vacant vacancies within six months or else the funds allocated for the said purpose will have lapsed. With the gap of almost three months, the government has not yet succeeded to announce the said vacancies.

The delay in the announcement of vacancies is a clear message to the unemployed youth of the province that plans are underway to also distribute these vacancies among themselves as keeping in view the trend and record of nepotism and favouritism in the province and one cannot expect that the recruitments would purely be held on the basis of merit.

The incumbent provincial governments in Baluchistan is very similar to its predecessors, as the former Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani, had once suggested the unemployed protesters in Quetta to examine their luck by standing in elections; they will become billionaires if they win. I am sure that the people of Pakistan would never forget his favorite quote ‘degree is degree whether it is fake or original.’ Now with the present government recruitment also means recruitment done on the basis of nepotism.

Provincial Government’s failure to deliver

Poor Infrastructure

The three parties PML-N, NP and PkMAP Coalition Government have so far delivered nothing to the ordinary masses. Every successor governments make hollow pledges and promises to the people that they would form a master plan for building Quetta as a well-developed city but these governments have not yet succeeded to solve the basic issues like sewerage/traffic system, contaminated water, and deteriorated road conditions.  The city still does not have a look of being the capital of a province. After the assassination of the Provincial Education Minister Shafiq Ahmed Khan in October 2009, the people of Quetta could not succeed to have a strong and effective voice for their rights in development and recruitments on basis of merit.

No Government focus on Education Sector 

On the education sector, the provincial government has made no  significant contribution in promotion of education in the province. A recent report issued by National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) shows that 22.6 million children are out of school in Pakistan whereas the situation is even worse in Baluchistan province where as many as 70 percent children are out of school. Apart from hollow slogans, the provincial government has failed to uphold its commitment to bring lasting change in the education sector.

Last Friday on 10th March 2017, the provincial assembly was echoed with another shameful scandal of nepotism and favoritism in the recruitment of 400 vacant government vacancies in one of the important departments

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The root cause of bad governance without any doubt is corruption, nepotism and favoritism that are the biggest hurdle to the development of the province and that will descend the country into further chaos and lawlessness. The already beleaguered youth of the province are extremely stressed due to the unemployment and lawlessness. While the bad governance would further enhance their depression and problems. Thousands of educated and talented youth have already left the province owing to lawlessness and bad governance. They would have been the assets of the province if remained in the province.

If we want to see the province and the country at par with the rest of the world, the government has to establish clear strategies to promote merit and professionalism. One of the basic themes in ethics is the fairness and justice, as Aristotle argued ‘Equals should be treated equally and unequal unequally’. It is an illegal and immoral act to hire someone because of his race, religion and family relationship. Favoritism and nepotism are considered as discrimination. The political parties and leaders of Balochistan always complain from the federal government for discrimination and injustices. However, let us once see to our own actions and deeds, are we doing justice to our people in the province?

Originally published in Global Village Space on March 16, 2017

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