There is no doubt that Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) is a unique welfare initiative undertaken by the PPP government. However, to say that it is apolitical programme would be challenging the common sense of the people of Pakistan.BISP is a politically-motivated programme and its administrative head, who is a retired bureaucrat in his 70s, is heading a team of politicised staff. I wish to share with readers a personal experience in this regard. Last year, the BISP advertised two positions of senior executives in May. In response to my application for the position of senior executive (inspection, monitoring and evaluation), I was advised to appear for an interview at the BISP headquarters on June 13, 2011, at 11am with original testimonials and CNIC. I reached the BISP headquarters on time like most of other candidates. We were asked to wait in room no. 221 meant for headquarters staff. The candidates waited there for more than one hour before they were asked to move to another room.After half an hour there, two VIP candidates arrived and interviews commenced in the office of the director-general, human resources. During this period, no officer visited the waiting room to examine the testimonials and explain reason for the delay in the interviews. During my interview, which was conducted in a casual manner, a subtle message was conveyed to me that this interview was a mere formality otherwise selection to fill the position has already been made. I left BISP headquarters in protest. At 5pm I received a call at home that another round of interviews of short-listed candidates will be held on June 14 at 3pm. The caller was a staff member and my impression from his message was that the interview would be held in the office of chairperson. On June 14, I visited the BISP headquarters on the time I was asked to come. The receptionist had not been briefed about our visit. I went to the human resource office. The candidates were led to the secretary’s office.I met the secretary in his office at 4pm. I brought the mismanagement issues to his attention. He thanked me for my concern for mismanagement at the BISP office. The secretary also assured me that merit would be observed in the selection. Merit was, however, not observed in the selection of senior executives. After a brief meeting/interview with the secretary, the personal secretary to the secretary informed me that only candidates short-listed by the secretary would be interviewed by the chairperson. The list included the names of two VIP candidates also. Since my name was not there, I left the BISP office in frustration and informed the BISP chairperson about the whole affair. Her response is still awaited.ASGHAR MAHMOOD, Islamabad, September21.