LAHORE - About 50,000 people have applied for 135 posts of peons (Daftris and Naib Qasids) in the Lahore High Court (LHC).

While the job seekers are required to have only elementary education, many of those who have offered their candidatures have masters’ degrees in various subjects. The applicants also include females, which is rather unthinkable for such posts.

The response to the advertisement given by the LHC on September 20 is reflective of the state of unemployment in the country. Interestingly, the government claims that it has put the country on the path to progress and prosperity as a result of which more and more people are getting jobs in various projects.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was reported to have said in a speech in May this year the rate of unemployment in Pakistan stands at 6.2 per cent. However, the International Labour Organization (ILO) thinks the rate is 5.04 per cent. Many say that if the statistics given both by the finance minister and the ILO were true, the LHC would not have been flooded with so many applications and that too for jobs which promise pay scales five and three, respectively. A peon gets about Rs 20,000 a month in salary. ‘Daftri’, as the peon is known in official language, gets Basic Pay Scale No 5. However, the Naib Qasid’, which is still more junior post, falls in BPS 3. The LHC needs 52 Daftris and 83 Naib Qasids.

As the applications have piled up at the LHC, the concerned staff is finding it difficult to process the piles of applications. The process is believed to be carried out through computers and, according to knowledgeable officials, not more than 500 applications can be handled in one day. If the pace remains the same, it would take the LHC people at least 100 days to look into all applications before shortlisting the most eligible candidates for the posts.