BISP... By Asghar
17 September, 2012
There is no doubt that the BISP is a unique welfare initiative undertaken by the PPP government. However, to say that it is an apolitical programme would be challenging the common sense of the people of Pakistan. The BISP is a politically motivated programme and its administrative head, Sher Ali, a retired bureaucrat in his 70s is heading a team of politicised functionaries. I wish to share with the readers a personal experience in this regard.
Last year in May, the BISP advertised two positions of senior executives. In response to my application for the position of Senior Executive (Inspection and Monitoring and Evaluation) I was advised to appear for interview at the BISP headquarters on June 13, 2011, with original testimonials and my CNIC. I reached the headquarters punctually like most of the other candidates. We were asked to wait in a room meant for the HR staff. All of us waited there for more than one hour and then we were asked to move to another room. After a half-an-hour wait when the two 'VIP' candidates arrived, the process of interview commenced in the office of the director-general, HR. During this period, no officer visited the waiting room to examine the testimonials and explain the reason for the delay in the interview. During my interview, which was conducted in a casual manner, a subtle message was conveyed to me that this interview was a mere formality, as the pre-selection to fill the position had already been made. I left the BISE headquarters in protest.
Later in the day, I received a call that another round of interviews of the short-listed candidates would be held on June 14. The caller was a staff member and my impression from his message was that the interview would be held in the office of the chairperson. On June 14, I visited the BISP headquarters at the appointed time. The receptionist had not been briefed about our visit, but I went to the HR office, from where all the candidates were led to the office of the secretary. I met the secretary in his office an hour after my appointed time. I brought the mismanagement issues to his attention, and he thanked me for my concern. He also assured me that merit would be observed in the selection of senior executives (two positions). Needless to say, merit was not observed in the selection of senior executives. After a brief meeting/interview with the secretary, the PS to the secretary informed me that the chairperson would interview only the candidates who were short-listed by the secretary. The list also included the names of the two VIP candidates. Since my name was not there, I left the BISP office in frustration and wrote to the chairperson BISP, the then MNA, Farzana Raja about the whole affair. Her response is still awaited.