ISLAMABAD - In an unprecedented move, Deputy Commissioner Mastung, Balochistan, Mehboob Ahmed, has cancelled unverified local domicile certificates of federal government employees (400 in number) allegedly hailing from Mastung district, who have got jobs in federal government departments against the posts of Balochistan quota.

According to details, the domiciles of these federal government employees were cancelled on June 26, 2020 after they didn’t appear in the DC office, Mastung, for verification, despite repeated attempts were made including sending of notices on their residences, forwarding of letters to their respective departments seeking their assistance to notify them on the relevant subject and media advertisements during the last about one year.

In this regard, the DC office issued a notification (No. 1605-15/LCB/DC/2020, dated June 26, 2020) and forwarded it to the government of Balochistan for further necessary action.

During all this process and period, 344 out of 744 employees approached the Mastung DC office for the purpose of verification of their domicile certificates, and a special verification committee will scrutinise the authenticity and veracity of those submitted 344 documents. Domiciles of rest of the employees (400 in number) who have not approached the DC office for verification were deemed as non-verified hence were notified cancelled, read the notification of Balochistan government and is available with The Nation.

“Inquiry and cancellation of fake domiciles/ local certificate has been a longstanding demand of political parties and civil society in Balochistan. The province has been systematically deprived of its due job share in national institutions and professional services,” said Sana Ullah Baloch, Member Balochistan Assembly and central leader of Balochistan National Party (M) while talking to this correspondent by phone.

The move was initiated after the Sindh government earlier this month constituted a high-powered committee to probe the issuance of allegedly fraudulent domiciles to non-residents of the province. The committee is due to submit its report in 30 days.

“All officials will be terminated if their domiciles are found bogus,” Sindh Information Minister Nasir Shah has recently told reporters. The decision came following a barrage of complaints surfaced on social media against the issuance of fake domiciles to non-residents of the province.

“As per the federal government job distribution formula, Balochistan is entitled for 6 percent quota in federal government departments which roughly makes 30,000 jobs for Balochistan. We initiated the verification process in July 2019 of all the 30,000 employees to ensure transparency in the recruitment process after dozens of complainants approached the relevant authorities questioning the status of origin of serving employees at various federal government departments. Among 30,000, about 7000 were security personnel (Frontier Corps etc) and remaining 23000 were civilian employees at 63 federal government departments, autonomous/semi-autonomous bodies, from 33 districts of Balochistan. Over 8000 such employees are from Quetta district only. We fear that the number of fake domicile holders could be in thousands if the verification process is duly followed,” a senior government official, who has been part of the process, said on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak publicly.

The list available with The Nations reveals that those whose domiciles were cancelled include an Assistant Commissioner FBR, Lecturers, Directors, Sub-Divisional Officers (SDOs), XENs, PIA pilot, Inspectors, revenue officers, etc.

“Fake domiciles are mostly issued by officers appointed from outside of the province. In Balochistan, this issue is of prime importance among several other issues,” Sana Ullah said.

He revealed that the BNP had included the job quota & fake domicile issue in the six-point agreement signed in August 2018 to join the ruling PTI. “The Balochistan Assembly has passed several motions on the matter but it seems that the powerful civilian establishment is less interested to address this matter,” he added.

The non-residents after availing bogus domiciles, either by allegedly bribing the issuing authorities or due to family connections with them, often manage to obtain government jobs allocated for locals thus further triggering the sense of deprivation among local lawful residents.

When contacted, Balochistan government spokesman Liaquat Shahwani said that the government is not in a position to comment on the issue as currently they are going through the details of the issue