The Pakistani Spectator

A Candid Blog

2014, and we still have Quota System in Pakistan

By Muhammad Shuja • Jan 7th, 2014 • Category: Politics • 3 Comments

It’s been more than 60 years since Pakistan’s independence, yet we struggle with dealing (let alone resolving) some of the fundamental issues that hamper our progress, eg Feudalism, Quota system, racism, illiteracy, injustice, lack of healthy food and health facilities and shelter for living.

Quota system in Pakistani law is the root cause of Racism in the country, which has resulted in widespread economic disparity, thus hate.

I was startled to hear this, on SamaTV, earlier today (Mar 2013). I thought quota system was a thing of history, what we faced in college/university admissions, but the guest said that there has been hiring in the Police department, also referred KMC/KBCA, using quota system, denying deserving candidates on merit. I don’t know how many institutions are corrupted like that. Since it’s a law, it applies to every government institutions.

The original 1973 constitution had fixed a period of 10 years for the job quota for the provinces, but the governments in the 1980s and 1990s enhanced it to 40 years which were to expire on Aug 13, 2012. Check this, last year (2012) Law Ministry got approval for the extension of Quota System in Sindh for the next 20 years. Take an example of CSS (Central Superior Service of Pakistan), where only 10% of posts are reserved on merit (1). Can you believe that! 90% of our bureaucrats are recruited through lowering the selection criteria, while other more intelligent Pakistanis are denied to serve the nation. And you wonder what’s wrong in our government, why there’s so much inefficiency, corruption and racism? We are doing irreparable damage, by putting Quota system in any institution.

According to the current recruitment policy listed at the Central Superior Service of Pakistan website, only 10% of posts are reserved for merit.

FPSC (Federal Public Services Commission) allocates jobs in civil services institutions (every govt. organization, WAPDA, EOBI, Steel Mills, Railways, FBR, Excise & Taxation, Water board, Defence, Finance, SBP, including Police) on the basis of merit and provincial or regional quotas. As per their rule, they are:

Merit 7.5 %
Punjab (including the Islamabad Capital Area)                                           50%
Sindh Rural                                                                                                11.4%
Sindh Urban                                                                                                7.6%
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa                                                                                  11.5%
Balochistan                                                                                                  6%
Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA                                                                             4%
Azad Jammu and Kashmir                                                                            2%

The passing percentage of the candidates in the written examination of CSS was 30% in 2002. In 2013 that figure has plummeted to a barely believable 2.09%.

If we inject inefficiency into institutions, how can we expect efficiency as the outcome ?

Do we need a scholar to tell us, what happens, when merit is killed. Do we need someone else to explain, what’s going on around us today, as it breeds a whole lot of issues in our society, viz. injustice, economic disparity, nepotism, inefficiency, corruption, bribery, feelings of deprivation, unemployment for skilled resources, resulting in hatred, fighting, killing and chaos! Don’t you see how many people leave country, to get fairer chance in education, job, services, etc. So much so, these issues become so complex, we consider them incorrigible, however you know the root cause, so we can very much redress it, if we want to.

Quota for a time being is ok for greater educational access for the underprivileged, but it shouldn’t be renewed for 20 more years after being used for past 60 years. Further, Quota system, is not allowed in any other case eg hiring/jobs, as it becomes discrimination. And you know discrimination is prohibited in Islam, may it be on the basis of race, color, family, land, or ethnicity. You cannot favor one over other.

Quota system has been declared un-islamic by Federal Shariat Court and illegal by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

If some sectors are underprivileged, it’s the Govt’s responsibility to provide sufficient opportunities for their services (eg education, jobs, health), instead of resorting to unfair means and compromising on quality, through giving advantage to someone less qualified, over the ones who’s worked hard to earn it, during gov’t hirings. Imagine a doctor hired at a Govt. hospital on lesser grades (based on quota), how will he/she treats the patient ? And then we wonder why Doctors aren’t respected anymore, like the way our culture treated this profession sacredly.

Quota clearly deteriorate the quality of service and causes hatred among deprived parties. It’s time we abolish such policies and promote hard work and equal opportunity. And we can very well improve our society as a whole. You know, when a small Pakistani businessman understands it and never compromises on quality of service, why can’t we do it as a nation as well.

Quota system is unconstitutional, unethical, and unIslamic.

Let’s appreciate, share and demand ‘MERIT’ and bring back harmony in our society.

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Click For More Articles By Muhammad Shuja He is an IT professional with a Computer Science and Business Administration education and 15 years industry experience. He has presented on several forums in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad on Information Technology, and abroad including US, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and presented a paper at IOUG conference in Toronto. He believes that every useful knowledge should be shared with the people at large and we should learn from others at the same time. Blogging turns out to be a great medium to share knowledge. He writes mostly critique, objectively with facts and reasoning, covering Technology, Economy, Society, Productivity, Religion, Politics, Nature, etc. predominantly fundamental issues the society is facing today. His own blog site:
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3 Responses »

  1. That’s why I have foreign qualifications, I work and reside in a foreign country and now applying for its citizenship, and I am happy.

    Just imagine, I couldn’t get a job in the government sector in Pakistan, but I am working in government sector in the foreign country. Last of my siblings is moving out of the country and he has his flight booked day after tomorrow.

    But I think that more than the quota system, there are other things that are more disturbing, at least for our family.

    My parents, they are also migrating from Pakistan. My father was a NRP and he brought money to invest in Pakistan upon retirement. But then, our poultry farms outside of Karachi were grabbed by the land mafia and we couldn’t do anything. Our plots, although we had valid lease documents under our name, were allotted to a Sindh minister as the area was going to be converted into an industrial state soon. What we received in return when we filed a lawsuit? Plots of equivalent area but carrying 10% or even less value. Our house and other shops were illegally occupied and although we got our house back soon, we had to wait for another 12 years to get the shops back. We spent so much money on cases while occupier earned money during the ‘Status Quo’ period.

    We purchased everything from my father’s End of Service. But you know what happened with that? My father transferred all the money in foreign currency and Nawaz Sharif’s government ceased the foreign currency accounts in Pakistan just after two weeks of the transaction. So the people who opened foreign currency accounts later, received up to PKR 80 per USD at one point, we were receiving 47 only, that too for investments in Pakistan to lose them later.

    Don’t get me wrong guys, this is Pakistan and I still love this country. The thing is, I or my family members do not want to spend our lives there anymore. Its better for us to love this country from faraway….

  2. @Mustafa And sorry for the late reply. Thanks for sharing your account on this. This sounds a sheer lack of justice, which actually has hindered our progress, where tyrants got away uncaught. Quota system is one form of injustice.

  3. Shuja Bahi i need your mobile number for some important discussion on merit because i am developing one web portal for position holder students in Pakistan, I am waiting your good & quick response.
    Mustafa brother you well soon heard good news plz don’t become hopeless.

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