LAHORE – Scores of young men lined up before Pearl Continental Hotel, on the Mall Road of Lahore were anxious of their turn to appear before the visiting delegation of the Bahrain National Guards (BNG). These men, a mix of retired army personnel and fresh graduates in 20s of their age, had come across far-flung areas of Punjab to apply for recruitment of BNG, an armed force of Bahrain, which is going to stretch its duties fabric due to uprising against the Bahrain’s caliphate.
Pakistan has been a favorite place for Bahrain to hunt police and army personnel. A large number of soldiers and policemen of Pakistani origin are already serving in Bahrain, a Shiite dominant country by its population but governed by a Sunni regime, which most commonly remains ‘scared’ of its Shiite population and resorts to importing men for the army.
These job seekers had come here, as most of them told, on the lead of an advertisement of Fauji Overseas Employment Services, a manpower-exporting agency that is a subsidiary of Fauji Foundation, a multi-dimensional business organization of ex-military men of Pakistan. The organisation in its latest advertisement published in widely circulated daily newspapers, has advertised seven positions from officers of major ranks to mess waiters and cooks for BNG. According to the criterion mentioned in advertisement, except one position of security guards, all six are reserved for men retired from military, paramilitary or police forces.
Shafqat Nazir, a young matriculation-passed applicant from Shakargarh, had applied a few days ago for the position of security guard in BNG. Nazir who had been employed in Bahrain some years ago said that he wanted to go there again. According to him, Bahrain was a better place to earn than many gulf countries. Nazir said that one of his family members based in Bahrain informed him about the recruitment for BNG. He thinks it is an easy way to go to Bahrain and earn than paying bundles of money to recruiting agents for getting a work visa for an Arab country. Nazir was accompanied by one of his mate, another applicant for a security job in Bahrain.
While telling the story of the recruitment procedure, Nazir said, “There was a long queue of applicants in the hotel; most of them retired armed forces’ personnel. First, they take physical measurement of the applicant and check bones for any fracture, in an ordinary manner. If things are okay then they issue a token and ask to submit documents, which include national identity card, degrees and educational certificates. The rest of the procedure takes about three weeks to complete and successful applicants are declared later.”
A number of applicants looking for their chances to turn up before the BN recruitment team, had a little knowledge about Bahrain, and hardly a few of them had some awareness about ongoing political turmoil in that country where they were minded to join the security force. When asked what will they do if they only face raged crowd and agitations as a part of their duty, most of the applicants looked nervous. But in fact they are more nervous and distressed about their unemployed present in Pakistan than about an endangered future in Bahrain.
- The writer is a freelance contributer.