I think JWT has been tremendously helpful to the CSS community. I ts diverse articles which amply cover CSS papers make it a must read for all the CSS, PMS, PCS aspirants. Kudos to JWT for putting in great efforts!
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, for the interest of JWT readers and all CSS, PMS aspirants, please share with us your academic credentials.
Mariam Bugti (MB): To start with, I did O Level from St. Joseph’s Convent, Quetta. Then after graduating with arts subjects, I earned my Master’s degree in Political Science with distinction as I stood 3rd in the university.
JWT: What had been your career ambitions during your student life? Did you always dream to become a CSP officer?
MB: Actually, I belong to a family of doctors and having actually seen my three sisters and a brother practicing medicine, no charm was there for me in this field. Till intermediate, I did not have any goal as to what I wanted to be. Then, my brother-in-law, who himself is in government service, came to my rescue and he convinced me to go for CSS. Balochistan is a backward yet neglected province and most of the populace of the region remains oblivious of the opportunities that the CSS exam does offer. However, once I knew the dynamics of the CSS, I immediately decided to go for it. I think this is the profession that best suits my personality as well as my skills.
JWT: Why Foreign Service of Pakistan (FSP) was your first choice?
MB: I think, the service and its requirements are exactly in consonance with my personality. Actually, I am blessed with a friendly and soft nature and because of these traits, I find myself as the right choice for the FSP group. I strongly believe that one should follow one’s heart while prioritizing an occupational group.
JWT: How your education can be helpful to you while serving in Foreign Service group?
MB: Actually, having a master’s degree in Political Science at one’s credit, one gets the idea of overall working and governance mechanisms of world’s important countries. This will help me in understanding the dynamics of the states I will be posted to in the future. I think, I will be in a better position to utilize all the opportunities that I may get, in the best interest of my country.
JWT: Being a career diplomat how will you project a positive image of Pakistan in abroad?
MB: I believe that Allah Almighty has endowed on me this opportunity to present the soft, positive image of my dear country Pakistan. There is a general perception that women, especially those belonging to rural areas, are not provided with ample opportunities to participate in the development of Pakistan. When I serve as a career diplomat, I will make the world recognize me as a representative of Pakistan and that too from the backward province of Balochistan.
JWT: If someone reading this interview opts to go for CSS, then what would your advice to him or her? How do you see the services Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) is rendering in this regard?
MB: I think JWT has been tremendously helpful to the CSS community. Its diverse articles which amply cover CSS papers make it a must read for all the CSS, PMS, PCS aspirants. Kudos to JWT for putting in great efforts!
JWT: To whom or what do you credit your success with?
MB: As I am the only female candidate from Balochistan among 220 qualifiers of CSS 2013, I give the credit of my success to my own hard work, prayers of my family, support and encouragement of friends and, above all, the grace of Almighty Allah who has always been beneficent in answering all my prayers.
JWT: Please share some useful tips for English Essay. How one should crack it?
MB: Basic understanding of all the domestic and international issues and ability of making correct usage of English are the two basic imperatives for a good and scoring essay. In my opinion, one should be write an essay in one’s own words as only memorizing some material can be detrimental to the chances of one’s success in this most crucial paper. The sequence and general flow of ideas must me original and coherence should be maintained all along. Embellishing your essay with appropriate quotations further adds to the effectiveness of your arguments.
JWT: What is the best way to select optional subjects?
MB: Optional subject should be chosen on the basis of your aptitude as well as the scoring trend. It has been seen in CSS exam that a candidate, despite having a master’s degree in a particular subject, could not score good marks in that very subject. It is just because of the low scoring trend. I personally experienced this phenomenon in CSS exam.
JWT: How has been your experience of interview with the FPSC panel?
MB: Interview was the most amazing part of my entire CSS journey. I think, it’s the process whereby the core values of your personality are assessed by the FPSC panel. During my 45-minute interview, I was asked different questions ranging from my personal experiences and ambitions to women rights, Pakistan’s relations with neighbouring countries and world powers, and so on. Then there were some questions related to my optional subjects. My views regarding Balochistan issue and the role of army were candid and those were dissected by the panellists. However, I succeeded in proving my point and my position not only as a patriot but also as a nationalist as I could clearly see the exploitation of the Baloch people as well as the faults on the part of our policymakers.
Here, I would like to add a point that during the interview, one must strive hard to score high as it can be a real game-changer in sending you to a particular occupational group. Moreover, a candidate must have a balanced approach towards life and possess the courage to call a spade a spade.