First results in from inquiry opened in June 2020
An investigation into fake domiciles started in June last year has yielded results: the Sindh government has found that out of 432 cases scrutinised, 154 were suspicious. The chief minister has now said that action will be taken.
The inquiry began after young Sindhis started questioning why they were unable to get jobs when there was so much corruption over the government issuing domiciles and PRCs or permanent resident cards. They started using Twitter to make their case by getting the hashtags
#sindhrejectsbogusdomiciles and #Bogusofficerfakedomicile to trend.
A fake domicile is a certificate that does not give the accurate and truthful information about where you were born. People get fake domiciles if they were born in a rural area so that they can apply for government jobs in a city. The government has a rule by which it says that it will employ 60% people from the countryside and 40% from cities. The rules was introduced in 1973 by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The aim was to ensure that people competing for government jobs in the cities had an equal playing field no matter where they came from.
In June 2020 then, after pressure rose, the Sindh government asked the federal government for records. Local Government Minister Nasir Hussain Shah said that they had plans to take legal action against anyone who acquired a fake domicile to get a government job in Sindh. He and then Advisor Murtaza Wahab have been given the job of investigating and looking into the laws.
There will be an appellate forum chaired by the Home secretary Shah told SAMAA Digital. Every citizen of the province will have the right to appeal if their case is challenged.
initial sweep yielded 154 fake domicile certificates in four districts, Kashmore,
Larkana, Jamshoro and Ghotki, said Shah. However, Muttahida Qaumi
Movement-Pakistan’s Khwaja Izhar ul Hassan has claimed the numbers run into the
thousands. The MQM-P is an urban political party and its stand is that people
from the rural areas have been faking certificates to get jobs on the urban
Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur are considered “urban Sindh”.
The MQM-P lawmaker filed a petition in the Sindh High Court on April 26, 2019 against fake domiciles for government employment during last 12 years. Hassan has argued that the Pakistan Citizenship Act, 1951 and Pakistan Citizenship Rules, 1952 were not being followed.
He told SAMAA Digital that around 150,000 people had been recruited on fake domiciles to government jobs from Grades 1 to 15 (22 being the highest) in the last decade. “I’ve been on it for the last eight years or so, gathering data of government employees who were recruited on fake domiciles,” he said.
He gave the example of a person from Khairpur who went to Karachi in 2005 and made a Certificate of Domicile in 2011. He got a government job in the Sindh Police in a week but did not cancel his Khairpur domicile before acquiring a Karachi domicile. There are many people who had double-dipped like this, critics say.
In response to the trending hashtag #SindhRejectsFakeDomiciles, by May 26, 2020 the Sindh government formed a committee of Qazi Shahid Pervez, a senior member of the Board of Revenue, Dr Saeed Ahmed Mangnejo, the secretary (General Administration) SGA&CD and Nazir Ahmed Qureshi, deputy director (Permanent Resident Certificates) to investigate.
They had to inspect records of domicile certificates issued in Sindh’s districts, look into complaints, identify certificates issued to non-residents of a district, affix responsibility and recommend what should be done.
Mangnejo told SAMAA Digital that the committee has given its initial report to the chief minister after a week. “The committee has taken four districts, Ghotki, Larkana, Jamshoro and Kashmore as a sample in the first phase of the inquiry,” he said. They verified around 2,500 domiciles in a sample and found 150 were fake.
more sub-committees to probe the cases as Sindh has 29 districts and it is a
lengthy exercise,” Mangnejo added.
Former Karachi Administrator Fahim Zaman said the quota system was supposed to last for 10 years to eliminate the sense of deprivation among the people of rural Sindh, but now the equation has been reversed so the urban people have been disenfranchised for the last 40 years.
“There is no quota system in the other three provinces,” he said, “so why is it in practice in Sindh?”
This story was originally published on June 18, 2020 and was updated September 7, 2021.