Amid the chaos and hubbub, some crucial and astounding developments are on their way in Pakistan. Change fancied by PTI seems still floating in the air. It is yet to reach and penetrate in state institutions. I am saying all this because luckily I got a chance to apply for a post in a government institution which is a very vital, the one situated in the heart of Lahore.

Just recently, I saw some posts advertised on Punjab assembly website. I thought to apply for one of them, considering it in accordance to my taste and educational and professional background. Not having any reference or parchi, I went through the entire procedure and saw a number of apparent irregularities which irked me a lot.

I never expected this to happen in provincial assembly. Firstly, when I went to submit my form, I found the officials submitting forms which came “upper say”, setting aside of those who were standing in queue in hot sunny day. Most of the forms which were submitted through postal service were not entertained. In the advertisement, the authorities failed to mention the methods to submit forms. Apparently, only those could successfully submit their forms who had the potential to visit the assembly. Form submission was hell of a task, but somehow I got through it in the midst of huge mismanagement.

Secondly, I got shortlisted and received the letter for interview. Here again before me a candidate, who appeared out of nowhere – having a parchi in his hand, was sent to the committee room number 3. When I inquired from the policeman standing near me, he said “upper say order hai” that is why he must go first. He further said we are obliged to listen to our bosses as we are under their orders. For a moment, I realized I am wasting my time and most important of all pinning my on hopes on something which is unimaginable without parchi or strong reference.

I could have asked for more explanation, but I let it go because I was charged and motivated to give my best in interview. On my turn, I entered the room and was welcomed in a cold manner. The interviewers did not bother to ask my name and background. To my surprise, instead of asking relevant questions, they asked questions which had nothing to do with the post.

“In which jail Rana Sanaullah is locked up?” being one of them. This was for the post which necessitated one to be a good writer with fair typing speed and proficient in MS. In just 1 minute, I was good-byed! I got dejected and upon reaching home, I had to hear the same words from kith & kin, “interview to formality hai. Why are you wasting your time – without reference nothing happens here?”

I have left opportunities to go abroad and settle there, in KSA for instance where my father used to live and could have helped me gaining a good job with handsome financial reward. I am getting sure day by day and as I am gaining conscious of how things work in Pakistan that I have made a terrible mistake. At this moment, I have nothing but to find a secure job and in here it does not seem possible.

Imran Khan always asked for merit and vowed to implement it in every institution once he gained power, but the practices which I saw were not according to it. Parchi system is still operative under PTI government and that too in Punjab Assembly. I remember Imran Khan himself once said that he had to use parchi to become part of Pakistani cricket team. Having no parchi at all, I am sure even after holding two master degrees, a PG diploma and being certified in MS Office, I won’t get a call for an assistant post.

I admire Imran Khan and will keep on doing so at least for his valuable services for winning world cup and hearts of numerous cancer patients. SKMH is a symbol of love of a son for his mother and mothers of nation; it is an epitome of better administration in a country where malpractice is run of the mill.

Importantly, my aunt got treated and recovered. Therefore, it would not be justified to not praise the services the doctors and administration of the hospital are rendering. It is a plant which is getting greener and more fruitful. Although there are complaints that some of the patients are not admitted for various reasons ranging from being on the last stage of cancer to the shortage of beds, overall the institution is worth narrating example of.

Keeping Imran Khan’s services aside, on national level things are not at par with his claims. Unemployment is rising like ever. Youth is frustrated and suffering from chronic poverty. Middle class is getting down and agitated. The middle class that shattered the status quo in Punjab, especially, and preferred to get out of their homes and vote for PTI over PML-N, is asking Imran Khan to ‘DO MORE’ for them. Of course, they deserve better standard of living.

Price hike of daily-usage products’ has broken their spine. Unemployment is at its peak. Criminal activities are happening like there is rule of the jungle. Without reference, one cannot enter an institution, and if you have reference or parchi of an influential person, you can do anything you want. Aggravating the situation further, merit seems a far cry.

Amidst all this, the hope is still alive. Besides political rivals, the government should take action against the corrupt elements in national institutions. It is better to set some examples. It must make sure the right persons are appointed for the right job. If action is not taken now, when will it be taken?