THE federal cabinet's approval for reinstating 7,700 employees sacked during 1996-98 raises many questions. The employees would be paid Rs 7.8 million as back salary and perks in three instalments. While the Information Minister Sherry Rehman is of the opinion that the move is in consonance with the manifesto of the party and fulfils the promises made to the public, the reality is that some of the members within the party have been critical of the decision. The Law Minister Farooq Naek who opposed the move on legal grounds said that it would create more problems for the government. Reinstatement would stipulate promotions to a higher scale of a large number of employees and would create resentment among the other government employees. Likewise, he is right in raising the objection that the matter should have been sent to the law ministry for legal evaluation. Sadly enough, the party's bigwigs who said that the decision could not be reversed silenced him. The government's arguments that these employees were sacked as an act of political victimisation doest not seem to be valid. No probe has been conducted to determine whether the government at the time forced these workers out of the jobs merely on political grounds. Worse still, during the reinstatement process little has been done to ensure whether the workers deserved the promotion in scale along with perks and privileges. However what is most important is the adverse effect it could have on the national exchequer that in these times of financial turbulence is desperately trying to prevent liquidity from drying up. The Information Minister, when asked how the treasury would manage to bear the huge cost, was not able to provide a satisfactory answer. Besides it would set a bad example of PPP trying to favour its cronies. There is a growing perception in the country that the PPP-led government rather than promoting meritocracy is indulging in favouritism as the present move testifies.