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Pak SC for action against MPs with fake degrees

world Updated: Jun 27, 2010 01:33 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times
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There is a possibility that the legislative assembly of Balochistan province may be dissolved in the coming weeks not because of any political wrangling but because more than half its members have fake degrees.

A similar crisis looms for the parliament as the country’s Higher Education Commission scrutinises degrees submitted by MPs at the time of filing their nomination papers.

This week, the Supreme Court ordered the Election Commission to scrutinise all degrees on a war footing to disqualify those MPs who submitted fake documents at the time of fighting elections.

Under Pakistan’s electoral rules, framed at the time by then President, Pervez Musharraf, graduation was the basic requirement for contesting elections in the country.

It is feared that in the 2008 general elections, hundreds of candidates submitted fake degrees.

Many submitted degrees from religious institutions like prominent madrassas but even these are now being questioned by the Supreme Court.

A sitting MP, Jamshed Dasti, was disqualified from parliament when it was found that his Madrassa degree was a fake.

Ironically, Dasti stood for elections on the seat he had vacated and won.

This time he did not have to submit educational certificates as the rule has been changed by the parliament under the 18 Amendment Act.

But for those who stood for elections in 2008, the rules remains the same, insists the Supreme Court.

The biggest loser in this would not be the PPP but the opposition PML-N party of Nawaz Sharif.

A month back, Sharif had insisted that all those with fake degrees “should be asked to go home.”

Last week, at a party meeting he was told that his party has the most number of candidates with questionable educational credentials.