GYF organized a protest against cronyism in government appointments
GYF organized a protest against cronyism in government appointments (Image: PakVoices)

Originally published in Urdu on PakVoices Gwadar website

On May 22, 2015 Gwadar Youth Forum (GYF) brought together a protest at Shuhada-e-Jeevani Chowk in Gwadar city. The protest was against the appointment of non-locals on most of the government vacancies in Gwadar which, the protesters said, was in violation of the law and the rights of the local population.

GYF representatives Barkatullah Baloch and Noman Baloch spoke at the occasion. According to them, “Thousands of youth line the streets of Gwadar with degrees in their hands but no employment opportunities. Countless Gwadar-based provincial and federal vacancies have come and gone, people from other cities and provinces appointed to these seats while these qualified youth are simply ignored.”

The speakers at the protest said that a case in point is the Customs Department. The department, they said, is a federal one but Gwadar residents do not receive appointments proportionate to their share according to the quota. Recently, 28 people were appointed to the Customs Department vacancies in Gwadar, 10 of them from Hyderabad, Sindh and another 18 from other parts of the country – none of these hailed from Gwadar. This appointment of non-Gwadar individuals, even individuals from other provinces, is a blatant injustice to the rights of the people of Gwadar, they said.

They also cited the example of the Vocational Training Center (VTC) and Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) where similar problems are rampant. In both government organizations, non-locals are being hired steadily, effectively quashing any hopes of economic emancipation of the locals. They said that even the two Wardens required for GDA School’s Hostel were ‘imported’ from outside, which was a petty gesture.

Protesters carry a banner demanding the revocation of illegal government appointments
Protesters carry a banner demanding the revocation of illegal government appointments (Image: PakVoices)

During the protest, the speakers said that were not the Gwadar residents entitled to their quota in federal and provincial vacancies. According to them, the people of Gwadar were being sidelined and discriminated against on both levels. Gwadar Customs Department has been recently upgraded to house more officials, they said, but attempts are being made to fill the 5 new vacancies through personal favors and cronyism. The glaring proof, they said, is that no advertisements were published in the papers to announce the vacancies and no invitations sought from aspiring candidates.

The speakers said that Gwadar Industrial Zone has been established, but the absurd part is that its office is in Karachi and the entire staff of that office is hired from among the Karachi population. If the policy of denying the right to jobs in provincial and federal departments continues, they said, GYF reserves the right to continue its protests. All promises made in the past to help alleviate the economic problems of the Gwadar problems have proven false and both the provincial government and opposition are engaged in their selfish interests, they said.

The speakers concluded the protest by saying that if the authorities refused to heed their just demands, they will be forced to resort to legal recourse. A petition will be filed in Balochistan High Court and the organization will pursue the matter legally as well.