KHYBER AGENCY - Hundreds of candidates belonging to Khyber Agency who applied for vacant posts in polio eradication program have alleged that massive irregularities and violation of merit had taken place during interviews process for the posts of Unit Supervisors (USs), Area Supervisors (ASs) and Community Health Workers (CHWs).

It is worth mentioning here that a total of 241 vacant posts including 180 for Community Health Workers, 50 Area Supervisors, 10 Unit Supervisors and one for Tehsil Supervisor were advertised by Chip Training and Consulting organization in national newspapers few days back.

A large number of applicants applied for the posts being advertised and the interview process for these positions have been conducted in various places including Peshawar, Landi Kotal and other areas of Khyber Agency.

Candidates with matriculation, intermediate, BA, MA and MPhil have submitted their curriculum vitas (CVs) for the vacant jobs but after they noticed irregularities and violation of merit, they raised voice against the mismanagement.

Contenders denounced the entire screening system for recruiting team consisting of officials from Islamabad, FATA Secretariat, health department and UNICEF and they were trying to appoint their blue-eyed persons on the posts.

One of the candidates seeking anonymity alleged that the posts had earlier been sold on Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 as conducting interview was a formality which the officials were trying to complete it.

He categorically said the incompetent and unqualified applicants with less education and experience are being nominated instead of qualified and experienced aspirants which is a clear violation of merit.

Another contender, Changaiz Khan of Ashkhel tribe of tehsil Landi Kotal, said the qualified persons were totally ignored but those who approached the high ups were given preference and called for interview.

The international organization UNICEF is going to bear all expenditures and salaries of candidates being selected on vacant posts and the entire process was also supervised by it.

An official of UNICEF declined to comment over the issue after he was contacted for his comments over the matter.

Meanwhile, ex-polio workers and the dropped candidates protested against irregularities on Thursday in front of Landi Kotal press club.

Scores of tribal holding placards inscribed with slogans in their favour and chanted full-throat slogans.

Akhtar Ali and Jamshed Khan who leaded the protest rally alleged that Dr Sher Amin, CCPV, UNICEF in Khyber Agency with assistance of Saeed and FATA Olympic Association, President Shahid Khan Shinwari put aside merit requirements and posted their near and dear ones on polio workers and supervisors posts.

They said that those workers who had executed their duties in militancy were totally ignored and fresh candidates were deployed on the posts, which was injustice to them.

They threatened that if the polio high ups did not revise its decision of posting of incapable candidates in the next phase they would stage demo in front of UNICEF office in Peshawar.