5th Position CSS 2013 (1st in PSP). JWT is the best source and it should be regularly consulted with.
JWT: All the aspirants, especially the JWT readers, would be keen to know about you? Tell us about your academic career.
Muhammad Azhar Khan Mughal (MAKM): I did my matriculation from Govt. S.D. High School Bahawalpur. Later, I graduated from Govt. S.E. College Bahawalpur and earned my master’s degree in English from the Islamia University of Bahawalpur. I had been a brilliant student throughout my educational career. Besides participating in co- and extracurricular activities with full fervour, I had been the prefect throughout my student life.
JWT: What had been your aspirations regarding your professional life? Did you always dream of being a part of the civil service?
MAKM: Yeah! A strong urge to be a bureaucrat and to serve my country through this prestigious service had always been in me. I must say this dream had been the real driving force behind all my hard work and endeavours. I would like to share that I had the opportunity to teach a college in Saudi Arabia in 2008. I was overjoyed when I got my first salary worth Rs 150,000, with a very good vehicle. But, despite such a hefty salary, I resigned in September 2008 and returned to Pakistan to go for CSS. I faced many difficulties; even I had to teach at an academy for merely Rs 2500. But these hurdles never stopped me from pursuing my dream to become a PSP Officer.
JWT: How do you see Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) as far as guidance on CSS exam is concerned?
MAKM: I must say JWT is the best source and it should be regularly consulted with, if someone is a serious CSS aspirant. JWT publishes the stuff that is the crux of vast experiences of CSS toppers, senior officers, intellectuals and analysts as their writings appear regularly in this magazine. Through this prestigious mag, I got opportunity to get genuine guidance from CSS toppers and to get inspired by their experiences and success stories. I have been such a voracious reader of JWT that I used to read it even standing in overcrowded public transport when I had to travel to reach the place where I had been serving as a Lecturer in English.
JWT: To whom or what do you credit your success with?
MAKM: I credit my success to my late father Muhammad Akram Shaheen Fateh, my loving mother Nasim Naz Abbasi, my brother Athar Khan, my sister Teyyebah Khan; all these people not only had a great confidence in me but they also prayed for me every moment they had. In addition, I think I owe huge thanks to my mentor Ms Durr-e-Shahwar Malik for her incessant support throughout my preparations for CSS exam.
JWT: How one can make a difference in written part of the exam?
MAKM: On the basis of my own experience, I would say that a candidate must have at least 17 correct MCQs in every paper. Secondly, he or she should present creative imagination and four-square analysis of the given issue. Thirdly, the presentation of ideas should be coherent as well as attractive. The use of flowcharts, tables and graphs, where needed, will also be the biggest tool to make a real difference. Merely reproducing events or theories or facts won’t serve the purpose.
JWT: What was your strategy for English Essay as it is considered the most crucial paper owing to the reason that most students fail it?
MAKM: On Essay writing, I worked really hard. I used to make outlines of important topics and write the introductory as well as concluding paragraphs on alternate days. I think the use of phrasal verbs, idiomatic expression, symbolic comparison, poetic verses and quotes made my essays very impressive. Above all, I always liked writing on unorthodox topics. I wrote on ‘If the gold rusts, what shall iron do’ and trust me it really worked.
JWT: Keeping in view the importance of English Precis and Composition paper, what strategy would you suggest for cracking it?
MAKM: There is no shortcut for the composition paper. Being a lecturer in English, I am privy to the needs of the students. So, I acted like a schoolboy and worked extensively on my syntax, parts of speech, phrasal verbs, idioms, etc. This, of course, would not have been possible without an expert opinion; and in this regard Prof Muzaffar Bokhari helped me a lot.
JWT: What is the best way to choose optional subjects?
MAKM: I think selecting less-opted subjects like Persian, Philosophy and Constitutional Law along with a regional language can be a very good approach.
JWT: What were the glaring features of your Punjabi paper that it fetched such high marks for you?
MAKM: Actually, I love reading Punjabi literature. I compared and contrasted the works of Punjabi writers with those of their English, French and Russian counterparts. I wrote a lot of verses and explained every point with logic.
JWT: Narrate your experience of interview thoroughly?
MAKM: Interview, actually, has always been my strength. Believe me, I revised all my subjects thrice before appearing in final interview.
During interview, the Chairman made me an Additional IG in Sindh and he asked me to calm down the boiling temperature of Karachi law and order situation. Moreover, I was asked about the extremists of south Punjab, Syrian Crisis, P5+1, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Moatazla, American Interference in World Politics and many questions on English Literature.