The cadets of Pakistan Marine Academy have been facing serious job problems on board ship, primarily because of lack of planning by the academy and negligence on the part of the government. The cadets, who mostly belong to middle class families after undertaking two years of extensive training under the supervision of Pakistan naval officers and staff, are left at the mercy of manning agents, who either demand money or reference of some senior officer. Those who fulfil these demands get the job while the rest wait for their turn to be employed on PNSC (Pakistan National Shipping Corporation) vessels which is again a tiresome job as PNSC has a fleet of only 9 ships only (3 tankers, 6 bulk carriers). Consequently, most of the cadets either end up as a victim of fraud or fall prey to hopelessness.

Pakistan Marine Academy, which is busy in selling ice to the Eskimos, tempts people to join it by giving attractive advertisements in the newspapers. Adding more to this, they do not offer any practical help to their pupils once they have passed out. Government on the other hand is least bothered about the future of these cadets, for them PMA cadets are just like all the other large flock of useless sheep. Though our government is busy in earning profit out of ports and shipping and the academy, they completely overlook the plans for the cadets.

It is high time now for the academy as well as the government to plan effectively to settle this issue of unemployment in the mercantile industry once and for all. This group of intelligent and educated youngsters could become a group of rabbles or criminals if the government does not seriously address their issues and resolve them practically.

RAO IRFAN ALI,

Karachi, September 4.