KHAIRPUR/PESHAWAR/LAHORE: The degrees of at least five more legislators have been found to be bogus from various universities across the country on Wednesday.
Prominent among the five is Senator Akbar Magsi –brother of Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Magsi and Sindh’s food minister Nadir Magsi – whose degree was declared by officials of the Shah Abdul Latif University (SALU), Khairpur, to be bogus.
“The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) had tasked the SALU with verifying the bachelors and masters degrees of 26 members of the Senate, the National Assembly and provincial assemblies,” examinations in charge Barkat Ali Qureshi said.
Following directives by the Supreme Court, he said, the degree verification process was in progress and degree-holders had been asked to submit their identity cards and other documents by July 12. If these documents were not provided, the degrees will be labelled as “suspicious”.
The SALU has yet to deny the allegations that it has issued 27 fake degrees.
Over at the University of Peshawar (UoP) an official privy to the degree verification process at the varsity told The Express Tribune that two bachelor degrees were found to be fake – those of Member National Assembly (MNA) from Bajaur Agency Akhundzada Chittan and Punjab Assembly member Safina Saima. The official said that the process of verification was complete and the degrees of other parliamentarians were found to be genuine.
Higher Education Commi-ssion (HEC) had forwarded 105 degrees of legislators to UoP for verification. The committee was set to submit its report to the Vice Chancellor UoP on July 13 after completing its scrutiny.
Earlier, Chittan’s degree was challenged by his rival candidate Nawabzada Shahabuddin in the Peshawar High Court (PHC).
Shahabuddin had lost to Chittan in the general elections from NA-44 Bajaur Agency. On April 26, a UoP official told the Election Tribunal of PHC that it had not issued MNA Syed Akhundzada Chittan a bachelor’s degree.
UoP additional controller of examination Mohammad Shafi had told the court on April 26 that Chittan appeared in the BA exams from UoP and failed six times.
Later, Chittan managed to transfer his case to PHC Abbotabad Circuit Bench.
Multan’s Bahauddin Zakaria University found two cases of fraud out of the 50 degrees sent to them for verification. The degrees of Salman Mohsin, an MNA from the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N), and Waseem Afzal, a PPP MPA from Punjab, were found to be fake.
The case of PPP MPA (Punjab) Tariq Mehmood remains pending in the court, therefore no decision on his degree was given by the university.
The legislators are not the only ones with questionable credentials.
Online news agency reported that 86 cases of false academic degrees have been found in the Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa education department.
Provincial Minister for Education Sardar Hussain Babak, who revealed this information during an event held to discuss the performance of government schools at a hotel in Peshawar, said that serious action will be taken against the 86 employees.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2010.
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