During the General Elections last year, a lot of Pakistanis decided to give Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) a chance, given Imran Khan’s promise of bringing in a new era of ‘clean and corruption-free politics.’ PM Khan brought in a lot of new faces to Pakistani politics, with Murad Saeed, Zartaj Gul among few others being some of them.
That promise of ‘Say No To Corruption’ appealed to a lot of folks, who now want Imran Khan to demonstrate how serious he was about it. Just this weekend, news went around that the government’s Minister for Climate Change, Zartaj Gul Wazir, used her influence to install her sister as a director in NACTA, the country’s anti-terrorism watchdog body.
Zartaj Gul’s attempt to give her a family member a job has not gone down well with a lot of people, be they PTI supporters or critics. Her blatant attempt at exercising nepotism has led to people talking about the whole fiasco over social media.
What People Are Saying
It is important to mention what Naeem ul Haq, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan, has to say regarding Zartaj Gul’s nepotism:
The PM has directed that Zartaj Gul shud withdraw her letter written to NACTA regarding the appointment of her sister. This was against the ethics of PTI which has always opposed nepotism. No one in the PTI govt is can promote their relatives/friends by using their positions.
— Naeem ul Haque (@naeemul_haque) June 2, 2019
Naeem has echoed the view that nepotism is against the ‘ethics of PTI.’ This also happens to be the view of many Pakistanis from all walks of life.
Zartaj gul should remember that we PTI supporters are against any undue favoritism. Nepotism is not allowed.
— Khurram Sheikh (@khurramfakhar) June 1, 2019
Zartaj Gul is such a phenomenal disappointment considering how the people of her constituency took on waderas to vote her in and she's ended up behaving just the same. Proper shit individual who deserves to be thrown out as minister.
— A* (@laltaintabahde) June 1, 2019
Minister Zartaj Gul “withdrawing” her letter is hardly the point. After being caught red handed, the letter can be simply torn up and the sister sacked. The honourable thing would be for the Minister herself to resign for practicing such blatant nepotism in Naya Pakistan
— Haroun Rashid (@HarounRashid2) June 3, 2019
— Dr. Ali Inayat (@FalconInayatale) June 2, 2019
I don't care if her sister is deserving or not. Once you hold public office, you can't use your powers to support your family Members. Atleast 10% of ppl applying for any job are rightful contenders. I used to adore her but if it's the truth, shame on her. #ZartajGul
— Nouman Zafar (@nomitheone) June 2, 2019
In fact, some other candidates were rejected for the same job despite them passing the required tests and procedures that NACTA had placed an advertisement for in major newspapers.
We who have qualified the NACTA written test,are still waiting for intrvew as per the ad. https://t.co/WBtC0ozTxN
— Mahar Munawar (@MunawarMahar) June 2, 2019
I think better to resign. 848 PhD are jobless not because they are incompetent but because they don't have ministry at home. #ZartajGul
— Kamran Abbas (@KamranA19613179) June 2, 2019
The Minister’s Response
With the issue turning into a major embarrassment for the sitting government, the State Minister for Climate Change tweeted her response as well:
NACTA's comprehensive clarification, blowing away the nonsense being peddled in a section of the local media regarding supposed breach of merit.
One cannot disenfranchise a deserving candidate just because they happen to be related to a Government Minister. pic.twitter.com/rgGBoxOju8
— Zartaj Gul Wazir (@zartajgulwazir) June 1, 2019
That ‘explanation’ of hers hasn’t won any fans, as news trickled out that Shabnum Gul may have plagiarized her thesis all the way back in 2007 when she was working as a researcher for Punjab University:
Minister for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir's sister Shabnam Gul who has been appointed as a director in Grade 19 in NACTA was accused of plagiarism in 2007 – read this Dawn report from that time – she was accused of plagiarising from a paper & thesis for her book on Kashmir pic.twitter.com/mPxnepcjGi
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) June 2, 2019
Zartaj Gul is defending merits of her sister & her right to serve Pakistan as Director NACTA
But her eligibility or ineligibility is a separate debate
Right now the point is that superseding other candidates because your Minister sister recommended you,is NEPOTISM
— Mona Alam (@MonaAlamm) June 1, 2019
It wasn’t all outrage after outrage though. Some people decided to express the whole situation in a lighter vein:
PTI taking action against Zartaj Gul pic.twitter.com/BlL9uCpUVW
— Garmi (@IffiViews) June 2, 2019
— Awais Saleem (@awaissaleem77) June 2, 2019
What are your thoughts regarding Zartaj Gul’s attempt to secure a job for her sister?