Interviews of 14 officials for foreign postings cancelled
ISLAMABAD: The controversial recruitment process for lucrative foreign posting of press officers took a new turn on Tuesday when the government cancelled the call letters of the 14 officers who failed to pass the written test.
According to sources, a top functionary of the government intervened after strong protest of the Information Group officers on gross irregularities in the process of hiring foreign press officers.
“Yes, interview calls for 14 officers who have failed to get 60 percent marks in written test have been cancelled. The decision was taken in consideration of a summary of the Prime Minister House of February,” a senior official of the Ministry of Information confirmed.
He said now 21 officers would appear for interviews to be held today (Wednesday) for 17 posts of Foreign Press officers. He said the remaining six posts would be filled in from the private sector through a different process. Previously 36 officers were called for interviews.
Senior journalist, Ataul Haq Qasmi is member of the board conducting the interviews along with the Minister and Secretary Information.
However, the new development has further increased the controversy as the officers who had been snubbed at the last moment had decided to go to courts against the fresh decision of the Ministry of Information.
“We will go to the courts against this decision as we had received call letters for interview,” said an officer whose interview call had been cancelled.
Meanwhile, at least 11 other competent officers of the Information Group who fulfill all the criteria for these prized posts have also expressed grave concern over alleged violation of rules in the recruitment process.
They have written letters to Secretary Information Imran Gardezi asking him to cancel the controversial process of appointment and initiate a transparent recruitment plan for the lucrative posts.
A senior official of Information Ministry, however, rejected all the charges of irregularities in the appointment process. He said the whole process was transparent. He said LUMS or IBA had refused to take the written test for the said posts as they lacked capacity in this area so the same was conducted in NUML.
He added that no representation was received by the Secretary Information.
To a question he said according to PM office guideline foreign posting was allowed twice for the officers.