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ISLAMABAD: Authorities promised an inquiry on Tuesday after a southern province was found to have employed almost 50 members of the same family in various health ministry jobs, many in the same hospital.

Corruption and nepotism is rampant in Pakistan when it comes to hiring government employees.

But the sheer number of the appointments – from vaccinators to security guards to lab technicians – has attracted the attention of the Supreme Court which will begin a hearing from Wednesday.

The matter surfaced when a man filed a petition complaining provincial health department had recruited some 48 cousins in the Ghotki district of Sindh province.

“Since 2008 till recently more than four dozen members of Chadhar family have been appointed by the authorities,” complainant Farman Ali Pitafi, a health department employee said, adding they were all cousins.

He said many of the family members were appointed in subordinate grades but quickly promoted.

The provincial health minister Sikandar Ali Mandhro said he was unaware of the matter but would look into it.

Pakistan ranks 117th out of 168 on Transparency International’s list of global corruption, where a higher number denotes greater graft.