A year of fake degrees


ISLAMABAD – Fake degrees scam topped the list of the year 2010 as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and Higher Education Commission (HEC) caught the attraction of the media and general public when it was found that leading politicians had filed fake degrees with the ECP.
While the ECP remained under the top government officials’ pressure and turned out to be a mere impotent body while the HEC Chairman Dr Javed Leghari came out as a hero though he faced one of the worst arm-twisting by the Sindh government when his brother, Farooq Legahri, was arrested, harassed and jailed.
The ECP only started taking action against the fake degree holders after the Supreme Court of Pakistan gave clear cut directions in Rizwan Gill and Nadia Aziz case.
Later, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education also directed the HEC to verify degrees of all the legislators.
In fake degrees scandal, Jamshed Ahmed Khan Dasti, Nazir Ahmed Jatt, Javid Shah, Gulam Dastgir Rajar, Malik Aamir Yar Warn and Federal Minister for Postal Services Israrullah Zahri are among those lawmakers who earned lot of public fame owing to their fake degrees.
Punjab Assembly passed a resolution against the media for propagating fake degree issues but media continued its campaign and exposed a bulk of elected representatives.
Despite having constitutional mandate and directions of Supreme Court, ECP role in all procedure remained questionable as after conducting 17 hearings of fake degrees, it sent only nine cases to police for registration of first information reports (FIRs) against the accused lawmakers.


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