Justice for Meritorious Youth

Honourable Caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan, I write to bring to your attention a pressing concern that plagues the hopes and aspirations of thousands of promising young individuals in our nation, particularly regarding the prevalence of corruption and nepotism in job opportunities and competitive entry tests. Pakistan, boasting one of the world’s largest youth populations, faces a grave challenge – a challenge that jeopardizes the dreams of our youth and exacerbates the economic crises our nation confronts. At the heart of this issue lies the pervasive corruption that has, unfortunately, become deeply ingrained in our society. Despite the efforts made since the establishment of Pakistan, the fight against corruption has been far from satisfactory. Temporary measures, lacking permanence, have failed to eradicate or even mitigate the root causes of corruption.
According to the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, Pakistan ranks as the 140th least corrupt nation out of 180 countries. This alarming statistic underscores the extent of the issue, reaching from low-level staff to higher-level officials, enveloping nearly every facet of our society. Allow me to draw your attention specifically to the plight of the youth, a significant segment of our population. Many families in our country grapple with poverty, and parents, in their pursuit to secure a brighter future for their children, sacrifice everything to provide them with education. The prevailing belief is that education will empower their children to overcome financial challenges through hard work and merit. However, the reality of entry tests and competitive job placements presents a grim picture, highlighting a perpetual struggle for merit and transparency. The recent MDCAT test of 2023-24, reconducted due to proven allegations of leaked question papers, exemplifies the erosion of fairness. Rumors circulate on social media, suggesting the leakage of answer keys, a privilege seemingly reserved for those born into privilege. This pattern of corruption extends beyond entry tests to competitive job placements in institutions like SPSC. Reports of political influence, nepotism, and corruption compromising the dreams of deserving candidates are dishearteningly common. Even qualified candidates, who excel with scores ranging from 70 to 80 marks, face rejection in interviews, while those with political affiliations and lower scores secure positions.
The monetary value attached to certain jobs, reaching up to millions, underscores the gravity of the situation. The painful reality is that political influence and corruption have marred the dreams of countless meritorious candidates for decades, casting a dark shadow over the principles of transparency and merit. Amidst this turmoil, it is disheartening to witness the increasing frequency of suicidal events and growing chaos throughout the country. Instead of conducting expensive surveys and research on these events, I urge your office to consider prioritising stringent actions against corruption, a malignant force that undermines merit and festers all societal evils. By doing so, not only will the principles of merit and transparency prevail, but the economic conditions of Pakistan will also witness substantial improvement. Your commitment to the eradication of corruption and the restoration of meritocracy in our educational and employment systems will undoubtedly shape a more equitable and prosperous future for Pakistan.

The writer is a teacher and writer. He is a member of PFUC Pakistan. He can be reached at @AliGulLeghari1

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