Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that there may be mid-term elections in the country, if a large number of parliamentarians turn out to be fake degree holders.
“I think by-elections will not be an option in such a case,” Khan told media in what appeared to be veiled threat to the government.
The statement came a day after the Supreme Court ordered the Election Commission to initiate action against legislators who contested the 2008 general polls on the basis of fake degrees. According to media reports the number of lawmakers possessing fake degrees could be in hundreds.
Khan said he did not believe the government would be able to avoid mid-term elections and go for by-polls if a large number of lawmakers were disqualified.
He claimed the government was asking his party to support a legislation to protect the legislators who had contested the elections on the basis of fake degrees. But, Khan added that the PML-N has refused to be part of any such move.
Khan told reporters that the government intended to introduce the legislation, possibly next week, which would have retrospective effect from 2002 to protect those lawmakers from disqualification whose degrees could be declared fake by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
“We have conveyed to them in the strongest term that we will not be part of any such move, rather we will resist it at all levels,” he said.
Khan also criticised the PML-Q for withdrawing its amendments in the Finance Bill accusing the Chaudhrys of Gujrat of hypocrisy.
The PML-Q supported the government and did not follow the PML-N when they staged walkout from the National Assembly when the Finance Bill was passed by the House.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2010.
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