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Discrimination against women in Pakistan: Ranks first in the exam, yet denied appointment to the post of DG of Haj

Pankaj Prasad
Religious Affairs Minister Mufti Abdul Shakoor
Religious Affairs Minister Mufti Abdul Shakoor

A case of discrimination against women has come to the fore in Pakistan.

A case of discrimination against women has come to the fore in Pakistan. This discrimination has not been done for any other reason but for appointment in the job. Religious Affairs Minister Mufti Abdul Shakoor has reportedly turned against the appointment of a woman officer for the vacant posts of director and director general of Haj in the ministry. In both the written test and interview for the post of Director General of Haj, the woman candidate from Audit and Accounts Group not only succeeded but also secured first position but still the appointment has become a mystery. Meanwhile, it has been learned that the Minister for Religious Affairs has asked the interview panel to fail the woman citing some other reason.

Know what is the whole matter?

The process of recruitment on two vacant posts of the ministry is incomplete even after two months. In September last year, the examination and interview were held for the vacant posts on 30 November 2022. Twenty officers of Grade 20 appeared for the written test for the post of DG Haj. Saima Sabah of Audit & Accounts Group scored 71 marks in the test, while Amjad Khan of Officer Management Group scored 61 marks. Both were declared successful, after which the minister's alleged troubles began and he planned not to appoint a woman to the post anyway.

According to documents obtained by a media channel, the Prime Minister's House was informed about the successful candidates on the basis of their gender, who had sought permission to re-appear in the exam. However, the Establishment Department rejected the demand. Reportedly, the minister found a way out and in an interview held on October 26 last year, he planned to fail both the successful candidates by joining hands with the interview panel.

During the 48-minute long interview, the religion minister engaged Saima with questions. Saima, who managed to score record marks, was failed by her with zero marks. In the wake of the episode, a purported audio clip of Abdul Shakoor and the woman candidate has surfaced in which the minister can be heard asking about the importance of the dupatta. He also asked her about her choice of not wearing a dupatta and how it would affect countries around the world.