ISLAMABAD: Two more members of the Punjab Assembly were found guilty on Saturday of falsifying their academic degrees following a scrutiny by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). The latest cases have reinforced fears that the scandal over forged academic degrees will deepen rather than die in the days to come, contrary to the government’s expectations.
The two provincial legislators who were found ‘guilty’ of being ‘cheats’ are mulling their resignation to avoid disqualification by the judiciary, according to reports by private television channels. One of the two legislators is Rana Abdul Rauf of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) who was elected from PP-279 Bahawalnagar constituency. Rauf had claimed to be a Balochistan University graduate at the time of submitting his election nomination papers in 2008. However, his academic degree was found to be forged – at least that much was confirmed in the verification process.
Meanwhile, the University of Punjab declared bogus the graduation degree submitted by Shaukat Aziz Bhatti, a Pakistan Muslim League-Q member of the Punjab Assembly. Bhatti was elected from a constituency in Gujar Khan subdivision.
Rauf and Bhatti are likely to submit their resignations to the speaker of the provincial assembly within hours or days.
In recent weeks, there has been a wave of resignations by both the federal and provincial assembly members from Punjab to avoid disqualification by courts.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2010.
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