ISLAMABAD - To ensure the merit-based postings in foreign missions and international, multilateral, bilateral and regional organizations the government has made it mandatory for the government officials to qualify test and interview prior to their appointment.

A letter issued, by the Establishment Division on February 16, stated that the Prime Minister has approved guidelines for foreign appointments and postings in missions abroad and against Pakistan’s seats in international, multilateral, bilateral and regional organizations, fora and bodies. However, it does not include foreign postings related to defence, intelligence and security affairs and foreign posts which are the cadre posts of any service, cadre or occupational group.

It is pertinent to mention here that the government has already started the practice of test and interview based policy for the appointments of trade officers and has appointed 51 trade officers for posting abroad.

Now the Establishment Division has informed all the ministries and divisions that there shall be a precondition of passing a written qualifying test, but the test shall be organized by the concerned ministry through the Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, or the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi.

The minimum qualifying score in the written test will be set at 60 percent, and candidates qualifying the test will be called for an interview, which will be conducted by a committee to be constituted with the approval of the Prime Minister.

Written test will have 80 percent weightage while the interview score will be 20 percent. It further said that no minimum passing marks shall be fixed for the interview, and no candidate will be deemed to have failed in the selection process merely on the basis of his or her performance in the interview.

An officer of identified services, cadres and occupational groups for any foreign post will be eligible for two tenures of foreign posting in his entire service, provided that there shall be an intervening period of at least three years between two such tenures.