By Wasim Abbas Atif
Quota System has been promoted in Pakistan to ensure representation of every region in the federal departments according to the populations of the regions. Likewise, quota system has also been enshrined in the constitution of the country in article 27 to safeguard it and eradicate the discrimination in the services. In 2013, qouta system is once again extended for further 20 years to maintain representation of backward regions in mainstream so that every region could get chance to participate in nation building process. Government of Pakistan applies quota for competitive exams and general recruitment for federal departments .Quota distributions is observed as, merit 7.5%,Punjab 50%,KPK 11.5% whereas Sindh and Baluchistan have granted 19% and 6% respectively .GBFATA receive 4% jointly while Ajk 2%.
The recent resolution tabled by law minister of Gilgit Baltistan that was subsequently approved by the assembly is not hailed by the competent youth of the region. The resolution to bifurcate Gilgit Baltistan quota from FATA has brought despondency among the talented candidates who are aspirants of CSS and general cadre posts. They are clamoring against the resolution which seems utterly incognizant of the disturbance it is going to create and it has upped the ante. The mover of the resolution [for mere point scoring] must be acquainted of the patent insignificancy of the bifurcation of quota that is discussed and supported on the following grounds.
Firstly, GBFATA quota will not be bifurcated according to the wishes of GB government as quota distribution is subject to population. According to official record and as per 1998 census ,Gilgit Baltistan is comprising 8 lac 61 thousand population whereas, FATA is home to a population of 3.18 million which clearly indicates that quota ratio will be 1:3, one percent for GB and 3% for FATA. Secondly, the recent trends of FPSC results both in Competitive and general recruitment exams demonstrate the fact that GB has grabbed more seats than FATA in allocated 4% joint quota for both regions. Thirdly, if quota is bifurcated according to the resolution, it will surely perch the aspirants of CSS and general cadre posts. The empirical evidence supports the fact that if FPSC announces 49 posts of Assistant Director, both GB and FATA will remain deprived of a single seat owing to 2% separate quota for each region. Quite contrary to this, if 49 seats are announced by FPSC, by having 4% quota, GBFATA will be granted a seat or two against compulsory allocated quota .Furthermore, aspirants from both regions will have the opportunity to compete for the advertised posts under the saying that, something is better than nothing.
Fourthly, the voices have raised from FATA for separation of quota from Gilgit Baltistan after recognizing the fact that FATA has lost many seats to GB in joint quota. Fifthly, the plea that has adorned the resolution that FATA domicile is being misused by the candidates of KPK to acquire seats amidst low level of competitions compare to their own province. If so, than how candidates of Gilgit Baltistan are able to attain more seats than FATA? Sixthly, if national government at federal level considers the resolution of separation of quota, it will be undertaken on latest demographic status. it will be definitely proved a gamble for Gilgit Baltistan. As according to Food department of GB, the exact population of the region is about 1.3 million (1333696) whereas according to FATA Development Authority, it’s now a home of 3.6 million(3656425) population which means lose of quota by 1% to FATA. In addidtion, the overall literacy rate of FATA is 33.3% which is for less than that of Gilgit Baltistan.
The aforesaid facts state that joint quota of 4% for GBFATA is more lucrative for the region as compare to the desired separate quota. The elected members and law makers of Gilgit Baltistan must focus on real political agenda i.e. education, load shedding, health and unemployment which have been shelved in oblivion by these political leaders.