Faryal Talpur, Pir Mazhar face-off | Pakistan Today

Faryal Talpur, Pir Mazhar face-off

Although, Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq kept a lid on the alleged teachers’ orders, particularly the Sindhi Language Teachers (SLTs), Member National Assembly (MNA) Faryal Talpur, sister of President Asif Ali Zardari and the defacto chief minister, intervened into the matter and it is likely that the illegal appointments of teachers will be cancelled.
After, MNA Faryal took notice of the situation, the education minister flew to London a few days back. While the two giants fought among themselves, hundreds of candidates who had obtained jobs b paying bribes were worried whether they would be allowed to continue their jobs or face sacking, Pakistan Today has reliably learnt.
Well-informed sources in the Sindh government told Pakistan Today that the Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Qaim Ali Shah, and senior minister Pir Mazharul Haq clashed regarding the teachers appointments issue and the chief executive removed Mazhar’s backed education director to ensure recruitment of more than 1,300 SLTs in the metropolis on merit-basis.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led Sindh government had announced to recruit more than 1,200 SLTs in BPS-9, 14 and 15 with a condition that the candidate should have studied Sindhi as a compulsory subject throughout his/her education period.
Besides, another major condition for recruitments was the possession of a Karachi-domicile. However, the set conditions were changed as 98 percent of the candidates not belonging to Karachi were issued offer letters. The written test for the candidates was held at Safia Khanum Memorial School near Gurumandir for females and for males at Government Boys and Girls School Moosmiyat in March 2012. The interviews were conducted in April 2012 but the process was halted completely over the difference of appointment procedure between CM Qaim and education minister Mazhar.
Sources said that the merit list of the successful candidates was to be put on display in the first week of May 2012, however, the process was delayed over the emergence of differences on the mode of recruitment.
The candidates who have appeared in the written test and interviews could be seen wandering in Sindh’s Education Department asking the officials concerned for the date for issuance and display of merit lists. However, the candidates returned without getting proper reply from the authorities concerned as they told the candidates that the orders would be issued by the CM himself.
A high official close to the chief minister told Pakistan Today that Mazhar was trying to influence the CM over the appointment of teachers while the CM was insisting on merit-based recruitment in the city. After the rift between the two politicians, Mazhar left for London citing the reason to be the health issues of his wife.
Qaim also complained to President Asif over the rude attitude adopted by Mazhar and the president had reportedly given a go-ahead to the CM for recruitment of SLTs on merit basis, the sources added.
Interestingly, Mazhar had also developed a serious dispute with the Sindh CM over strictness of former secretary education, Nahid S Durrani, the daughter of chief executive, as Mazhar could not carry out his alleged malpractices in the presence of the CM’s daughter.
Nahid’s efforts to curb corruption and other irregularities in the Sindh Education Department cost her the post of secretary, as Mazhar chose to side with elements involved in receiving heavy commissions and kickbacks.
Initially, Nahid had been sent on leave, but in reality, the move was just a precursor to her permanent transfer from the education department. At that time, Mazhar approached Faryal with a request to grant permission to remove Nahid from the secretary’s post.
After her removal, proceedings initiated by Nahid against embezzlement and other irregularities in the department would be immediately stopped, and things would return to the same conditions as existed before Nahid assumed charge, the sources claimed.
Durrani had sent at least three different cases of corruption and irregularities to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and National Accountability Courts for proceedings in April alone. Each of these cases dealt with embezzlement of millions of rupees and all in the name of education. The first reference sent to the NAB court was filed under section 18 of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO)-1999, with Nahid pleading to the court to take notice of embezzlement in procurement of some 42 vehicles, for which the Sindh government had paid Rs 94.966 million to M/S World Automobiles, Karachi.
The orders for the vehicles were placed in connection with a project backed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) named “Revitalisation Existing Teacher Training Institutions of Sindh”.
In a bid to settle down the rift between the two senior leaders of the ruling PPP, MNA Faryal played a positive role and it was decided that initially Mazhar would issue SLT orders, however, within a period of two days, Karachi Director Education Ghulam Hussain Dal was removed from his post.
After the removal, Mazhar got angry and complained to President Asif and it was assured that director education would be reposted. However, the secretary services was not complying with the orders of the senior leadership just to take revenge.
Furthermore, more than 300 candidates have been issued offer letters for appointment as SLTs in the city, while the majority of them belonged to non-Sindhi speaking communities, it is reliably learnt.
With the completion of all formalities, the appointment process of more than 1,200 SLTs had come to a grinding halt owing to a running feud between CM Qaim and senior minister Mazhar. However, the appointment process was started by giving additional charge of director education to a low-grade official named Abdul Jabbar Dayo.
Sources said the director was allegedly famous for appeasing all his bosses besides putting his due share in his own pocket. After the appointments process began, the candidates had received direct offer letters from the agent mafia in return of paying Rs 400,000 for BPS-9, Rs 600,000 for BPS-14 and Rs 800,000 for BPS-15. And, when the issue of agent mafia was brought before the MNA Faryal, it was ordered that the documents of these offer letter bearers should be verified.
Ironically, when the documents were verified, it was found that 300 offer letters for SLTs were issued to non-eligible candidates on cash and the majority of them belonged to Urdu and Baloch-speaking people. It was also disclosed that majority of these candidates were over-age, held fakes degrees and certificates, sources said.
The lists containing objections of fake degrees had also been put on display outside the office of director education on the fifth floor of the Civic Centre.
After being fed up with several complaints against Mazhar, Faryal appointed his brother in law Dr Fazaullah Pechuho as education secretary who had reportedly ordered cancellation of the SLTs orders. Besides, the secretary had also forwarded a letter to the Sindh Accountant General requesting them not to release salaries of the SLTs until the secretary’s office verified the candidates.
A senior official at Sindh AG office, requesting anonymity, told Pakistan Today that more than 800 SLTs had joined their duties and the education department was not endorsing those appointments, resultantly, the salaries would not be released. Formalities regarding the code had been ignored in the recruitments of these teaches as majority of them had fake certificates and domiciles, the official added.
Another official at the Sindh Government Services Hospital told Pakistan Today that the secretary education had ordered stopping of medical certificate to those with offer letters until further orders. Interestingly, former education director Jabbar Dayo, whose corruption was earlier highlighted by Pakistan Today, was arrested by the NAB the other day.
Pakistan Today had been observing the development of SLTs since the very first day of written test till to-date.

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