LAHORE: Thousands of candidates who applied for different posts in government departments through the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) are suffering from mental agony as the Punjab government has failed to appoint a new chairman of the PPSC despite lapse of almost a month and a half.
PPSC former chairman Lt Gen (retd) Sajjad Akram retired on September 24, 2017 on completion of his three-year tenure and the post is lying vacant since then. The recruitment process through PPSC has come to a halt after the retirement of Sajjad Akram, bringing much misery to the candidates. The last written results for various posts were announced on September 22 and the final results on September 24.
The commission has also neither conducted written tests for different posts nor advertised new posts in newspapers after Sajjad Akram completed his tenure.
A candidate for the post of assistant, who passed the written test, on condition of anonymity said that he is under great mental stress due to long wait for his interview. He said, “Every time I call the PPSC office in Multan, I get the same answer; the recruitment process has been halted at PPSC till the appointment of new chairman and you are requested to wait for his appointment.” He said that his family members and friends taunt him for not being able to reach the stage of interview. “It is not my fault but the government’s and I am suffering for it.”
Another candidate who passed the test for the post of lecturer (English) said that he is worried about his job and is tired of calling the PPSC office time and again. “I was told by the PPSC that interviews for the post will be held in October but no interview has been held in October. I and my parents are worried a lot,” he said.
He said that he gets the same answer from PPSC Information Desk that “the recruitment process has been halted at PPSC till the appointment of new chairman and you are requested to wait for his appointment”.
Imran Ali, who applied for the post of Information Officer in Punjab Information, Culture and Youth Affairs Department, said that he applied for the post on October 25, which was the last date to apply and till now, there is no update when the written test is going to be held. “I started preparation for the test but the current situation has perturbed me since there is no update about the date when the written test will be held.”
PPSC Information Officer Shakeel Ahmad admitted that thousands of candidates are suffering since the government has not appointed the new chairman. “It never happened in the past history of PPSC that it remained without chairman. Usually an acting chairman is appointed soon after the retirement of a chairman and till the appointment of a new one.”
He said that he can’t give the exact number of candidates who have applied for different posts but he said that the number is in thousands and eight to 10 departments have sent requisitions for recruitment.
It is learnt that the Punjab government has mulled to appoint former inspector general of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police Nasir Khan Durrani as PPSC chairman and the Punjab chief secretary has sent a summary to Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif before the retirement of Sajjad Akram but the chief minister has not signed the summary and is reluctant to do so.
Durrani, a 10th Common Police Officer and already a member of the PPSC, has put the government in a double mind because Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan always praises Durrani for bringing police reforms in KP.
When Punjab government Spokesman Malik Muhammad Ahmed was contacted, his personal secretary Jawad said that he is busy in holding a meeting with former information secretary Raja Jehangir. He did not attend the call after repeated attempts.
The PPSC is a constitutional body and recruits about 14,000 suitable candidates for different departments in one year. In 2016, the PPSC recommended 12,138 candidates out of 36,315 interviewed candidates. It has one post of chairman and 14 posts of members normally.