Zia-ur-Rehman’s appointment as Deputy Commissioner of Karachi District Central sparks controversy in the political arena as various individuals, including MQM Leader Khanwar Naveed Jameel, highlight his lack of qualification for such a pertinent post. This appointment is one in a series in which Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman’s brother has been involved with—in the provincial service—although many are not sure how he got there in the first place. Demands to re-evaluate the appointment are being made, at least until his name has been cleared by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Rising from the ranks of a PTCL division engineer, Zia-ur-Rehman astonishingly became a section officer in Peshawar without having passed, or in fact given, the required CSS exam. It wasn’t long until the NAB launched an investigation into his suspicious status as a civil servant—one that has not concluded yet. Thus, the reservations expressed by various politicians, as well as the public, are more than justified when his role, and his intentions, as a critical functionary for the city is questioned. Whether he is the most capable person for the job or not is an inconsequential debate; there are certain rules and procedures all must follow to qualify for the provincial and federal civil services. As such, it was imperative for PPP to wait for the investigation to come full circle.

Unfortunately, it seems as though principles of meritocracy seem inconsequential in such appointments, propagated by established and influential individuals like Fazl-ur-Rehman. In a time where an opposition alliance is being constructed, it is not surprising that such disapproval is being voiced against the replacement of a competent, qualified and motivated deputy commissioner. From protests in the KP Assembly to personal letters to the Sindh Chief Minister, reconsideration or complete withdrawal of the notification of appointment is being encouraged.

Government appointments are always supposed to be calculated and informed. At the very least, they should give the public assurance of the fact that a capable individual will take office and cater to their needs. With Zia-ur-Rehman’s appointment, the sanctity of official procedures has been challenged.