John Kennedy daughter Rabail Kennedy
John Kennedy with his daughter Rabail Kennedy Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: Having served as a driver with the officers of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), John Kennedy nurtured a dream that one day his children would join the hierarchy of civil services officers in the country by clearing the Central Superior Services (CSS) examination.

His daughter Rabail Kennedy has recently fulfilled his dream as she qualified in the CSS exams for 2019. Now, after receiving formal training, she is ready to join the Foreign Service of Pakistan.

‘My father is my inspiration’

Rabail attributed her success to the untiring efforts and vision of her father who had selected the best educational institutions for her right from her childhood and provided her with all the necessary support in this regard.

“He has been my guiding star and a role model as he, despite having meagre resources and a large family to feed, gave me hope that I could also become an officer of the top-ranking cadre of Pakistan,” Rabail told Gulf News on Monday.

An example for non-Muslims

It is because of my father’s continuous support and of course that of my mother and other members of the family that I was able to break the socio-economic shackles and prove that we, the minorities, can also set examples for our community, said Rabail.

She has been one of the three candidates selected on minority quota and luckily was awarded what she had always dreamt — a posting in the Foreign Service Group. “Joining this prestigious service, I shall put in my best efforts to promote Pakistan’s soft image to the world and remove misconceptions and negativity about my country,” she said.

Guidance from FBR officers

To a question on whether she ever experienced any discrimination as she hailed from a non-Muslim community, Rabail said she was supported by her Muslim friends and teachers.

“Even officers of FBR — with whom my father was familiar, performing his duties — taught and guided me in selection of subjects and how to prepare for the final interview.

Rabail received early education at Jesus and Mary Convent, Sialkot, and did her Masters in Zoology from Standard College of Sialkot, affiliated with the University of Faisalabad.

John’s other children — Gerard, Roger Falcon, Zaver Sher and Rachel — are also studying and pursuing the goal that their father has set for them.

A proud father and a devoted mother

John is a driver at the Regional Tax Office (RTO) Sialkot and has been serving in Lahore, Gujranwala and Sialkot since he joined the department in 1985.

When asked how he managed to provide the best education environment to his children, John said: “We lived a very simple life.”

He further said: “Once my wife Sabiha and I didn’t buy new clothes and shoes for two years, but we ensured our children’s education went uninterrupted.” The Jesus & Mary Convent also gave our children 50 per cent discount in fees for which he was grateful to the school.

It is all because of the Almighty’s countless bounties and blessings that his children were making their mark in academics, he said.

Foreign minister congratulates Rabail

After news of Rabail’s success went viral on mainstream and social media, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi telephoned John and his daughter to convey his greetings. The Foreign Office is waiting for you, the minister reportedly told Rabail.

“The success of daughters like Rabail Kennedy, on the basis of their hard work and selection for foreign services, is a guiding light for other girls,” said the Pakistan foreign minister.

While felicitating John, the minister said the way he had groomed his daughter was a matter of pride.