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January 2, 2015

Ministry gave officers one-day deadline to apply for WTO post


January 2, 2015

ISLAMABAD: More disturbing facts are surfacing regarding manipulative tactics being used by powerful bureaucrats to get their ‘favourite’ man appointed to the post of Ambassador World Trade Organization (WTO) as all the officers of ministry of commerce were never intimated to apply for the post on time and documents reveal that a circular was issued and placed on the ministry’s website on the last date of applying.
Documents available with The News reveal that a circular bearing no. 2(6)/2010-Admin-I was issued by ministry of commerce on December 3, 2014 which asked the officers of Grade-20 and Grade-21 to apply against the post on the same day with a plethora of documents which could not be gathered in a few hours. The documents say, “Keeping in view the deadline for nominations, it is requested that nominations of officers of Bs-20/21 fulfilling the required eligibility criteria duly approved/endorsed by the respective heads of Wings may kindly be communicated along with the required documents TODAY before close of office hours for onwards submission to the Establishment Division, Islamabad.” The documents further reveal that the Establishment Division issued a circular bearing No. 4/7/2014,T-IV dated 21 November 2014 asking all the ministries/divisions/ chief secretaries “to forward nominations of suitable candidates fulfilling the requisite criteria specially all serving Bs 20/21 officers who have relevant knowledge/work experience of WTO related issues and have experience of working in/with international agencies. The following documents are required to be furnished in duplicate:
a) Bio-data-cum CV with photographs. b) Release Certificate. c) No Disciplinary /Criminal proceedings certificate. d) PERs grading for the last five years from 2009-2013. e) The nominee is not in promotion zone in next two years. f) The nominee is not retiring in next four years. g) Certificate of disclosure to the effect whether a candidate/nominee has

remained posted abroad earlier or not. Closing date for receipt of applications is 03-12-2014.”
Well-placed sources in ministry of commerce told The News that it is impossible to arrange the above-mentioned documents within a few hours, the time fixed by the ministry of commerce to keep most of the eligible candidates away from the selection process to give a clear chance to a blue-eyed officer. The sources said that traditionally a grade-21 or grade-22 or a retired officer would be appointed against this post that too those officers having background of trade, commerce and diplomacy. This time the criterion has been relaxed and a grade-20 officer has also been allowed to apply against the post. Interestingly, there is another post of deputy ambassador in Pakistan’s mission to WTO, which is also filled by grade-20 officer. Currently, Tipu Mohabattullah (DMG, grade-20) is deputy ambassador in WTO. With the latest arrangement, both positions of ambassador and deputy ambassador would be filled by grade-20 officers, which is unprecedented. This important position fell vacant in June this year but was kept vacant for so many months. Moreover a three-member committee comprising two joint secretaries and one section officer was tasked to short-list the candidates. This committee could not dare to drop the powerful candidates who had applied for the post. It short-listed six candidates who were initially called for interview at 9:30 am on Monday (December 22, 2014) but later because someone had to travel all the way from Lahore for the interview, the timing of the interview was re-fixed at 2:30 pm.
The sources said that a summary of three candidates has been sent to the prime minister for approval, which included the name of the blue-eyed officer.

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