Does Parliament care about fake degrees more than us?

For a week or two different clusters in the parliament have been criticising the media for revealing the issue of fake degrees and the incompetence of parliamentarians. But unfortunately it is also the media that has been debating problems and solutions of national economy more than our honored parliamentarians.

Saqib Omer Saeed July 16, 2010
June and July have been critical months in the national parliamentary schedule because of the federal budget presentation in parliament and then the discussion for its approval. Generally nations anticipate their parliaments to discuss national budgets and come up with ideas and proposals for their well being.

I come across the findings of the report of Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) entitled FAFEN Parliament Monitor. The report reveals just how much our parliament took  discussed the federal Budget 2010-11 in the National Asembly in its 2pml-3rd budget session.

According to the report:

  • Only 114 out of 340 members took part in budgetary discussion i.e. 33% (June 3rd to June 30th 2010).

  • A majority of the parliamentarians commented generally about terrorism and power shortage.

  • Out of the 660 cut motions introduced, aiming to decrease 41 government and 183 proposed budgetary allocations or demand grants - not a single cut motion was successful.

  • 44% female and 30.6% male parliamentarians took part in general debate on budget.

  • A majority of parliamentary leaders were absent in the process. The leader of the opposition was present in 14 sittings out of 21 [66.6%]. (The leader of PML attended 9 sessions [42.8%]. The leader of MQM attended 6 sittings [28.5]. The ANP leader attended 3 sittings [14.25%].)

Before saying anything further - let me say it: What a dilemma? A country that is rich in resources and only needs leadership to mobilise is witnessing behavior of a parliament free of seriousness. Can we derive by their fake degrees and general incompetence that parliamentarians are not capable to discuss core of budgetary dynamics.

For a week or two different clusters in the parliament have been criticising the media for revealing the issue of fake degrees and the incompetence of parliamentarians. But unfortunately it is also the media that has been debating problems and solutions of national economy more than our honored parliamentarians.

It was from May 2010 that the media of Pakistan started discussing national economic and budgetary preferences. They have been organizing seminars, conferences and television programs on the  issue and there is no doubt that what media has highlighted has to be remitted in the parliament by members for brain storming and decision making. But perhaps parliamentarians only view programs on fake degree and political point scoring programs on television.

It is really unfortunate that the interest of 180 million people of Pakistan is not supreme in the parliament of Pakistan but the honor of 340 people has to be protected by ignoring and not revealing their corruption myths. What sort of hypocrisy is this? I can agree by seeing parliamentary democracy’s history that the graduation clause was unfair as it was imposed by a dictator but who will ensure the capability of parliamentarians in solving national issues. Even to the extent of their interest in affairs of the nation.

After seeing the level of interest of our parliamentarians I think we need to propose a new amendment in constitution that allows showing TV programs in parliament on national issues. I hope this can add to their intellect on national issues. I have no issue whether they write judiciary, journalists and jenerals [General] to make it “Triple J” but being a citizen of Pakistan I am interested in my parliamentarians to being skilled and interested in the management of our national priorities. Economy and budget top the list.

In today's age, parliament is worthless if they have no capability of solving public interest issues.  The media in nothing but the voice of a nation. If democracy means supremacy of public interest then the voice of the nation is always supreme. If we see that the media is promoting national interest whereby they discuss the national budget more than our worthy parliamentarians, we can then tolerate some faults within the media. However, if our own elected parliamentarians are not interested in discussing the national budget and economy then our interests will sink from their presence in our parliament.
Saqib Omer Saeed A financial researcher, analyst and adjunct faculty in CBM, SZABIST, BIZTEK & University of Karachi and blogs at
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Saqib Omer Saeed | 11 years ago | Reply Agreed with you in totality Omer. Actually we have to take part in all set of political activities. The same happened from 1930 to 1947 and we got Pakistan and now it is the call to uplift our national causes. End of the day time is not going to take our excuse in account that we were so helpless because no one were standing for us. It is actually "WE" who have to stand for our very own country and the future of our forth coming generation.
Omer Mirza | 11 years ago | Reply @ Mr.Saqib, I agree with what you have to say but we must realize that we cannot cleanse our government bodies of corruption by merely exposing the wrongdoers through the media. They've always found ways to somehow make their way back into the mix of things and the looting continues. We, as a conscious nation need to start taking part in politics, encourage those of us who have the intellect to make their voices heard where it really matters. Our youth needs to get involved in the democratic process if we are to bring about a change at any level. But unfortunately the student organizations of our political parties are in every sense gangs of thugs who're only there for the power they obtain. Thus the change must start at the individual level. Cliched that might sound but Its the only solution. @ Dr.Hassan, I agree with what you said about the media doing the terrorists' task for them. The terrorists intend to spread terror, and terror isn't spread as much by a bomb blast than it is by the sensationalism in the media. We deserve to know, but we do not deserve to constantly live in fear, we do not need to see the remains of the affected. The departed do not deserve to be flashed across TV screens worldwide.
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