Where Every Other Officer Reclined, Batool Assadi Balochistan's First-Ever Field Assistant Commissioner
QUETTA: Sadaf Batool Assadi becomes the first-ever field assistant commissioner of Balochistan, despite the provinces volatile situation where no one was opting to be deputed.
Against the backdrop of targeted killings, bomb blasts, enforced disappearances, sectarian tensions, ethnic hatred and kidnapping for ransom, many officers in the civil administration expressed their reluctance to be posted in interior Balochistan.
But this intrepid daughter of the soil, Sadaf Batool Assadi, accepted the challenge. Belonging to the besieged Hazara community, Batool shrugged off the notion of being a female officer, saying “officers are a genderless species and custodians of the government.”
When questioned about the cultural impediments she might be facing in a male-dominated society, she said she viewed the culture of Balochistan as a strength, and not as a weakness.
“Traditionally there is a lot of respect for women in Balochistan and in this context I receive much respect and honour when in the field,” she said. Assadi also denied facing any political pressure while executing her duties in field.
Recalling her previous employment as a lecturer of English Literature at Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences, she said teaching is also a noble profession and female teachers are doing a great job.
“However, if the locals will not serve the province then who else will do this job?” she asked.
After completing her training at the Civil Services Academy (CSA), Assadi was posted for some time in South Punjab’s Rahim Yar Khan district as field assistant commissioner. Referring to that experience, she said Punjab is much better in terms of services, administration, having entirely different dynamics.
“But getting posted in Balochistan, despite knowing that it is a conflict zone, is my own choice. I am a field person and I love being in the field as I love to accept challenges,” she said.
Asked about the reaction of her family to her job, she said her father is a very cooperative and his reaction is positive. She also expressed her special gratitude to Quetta’s Commissioner Qambar Dashti for being supportive to her. “I am so lucky to have a senior who has helped me understand many things about administration,” she said.
She also thanked the Hazara community’s social media campaign in her favour but said she does not limit herself to a particular ethnicity. “I, as a Pakistani citizen, represent all the social groups in Balochistan,” she said.
Assadi’s husband, Muhammad Ishaq who is himself Quetta’s additional commissioner, said officers were reluctant to perform in Balochistan. He said if females can perform in other provinces, they can also work in Balochistan. “As regards my personal life, it has to be taken ahead with collaboration and for that I don’t behave like a traditional husband but rather share her responsibility at home, too,” he said.
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