High-powered commission to verify legislators’ degrees

The job of verifying degrees will be handed over to a commission headed by the Federal Education Minister.


July 22, 2010

The job of verifying legislators’ degrees is to be handed over to a high-powered commission headed by Federal Education Minister Sardar Assef Ali which the government has decided to set up soon.

The commission will also include the federal education secretary, a top official of the law ministry, an Election Commission representative, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman and executive director.

Sources said that the federal education minister has been asked to play a key role in the bogus degree affair. He has been tasked to set up a high-powered commission to review the fake degree cases and ensure submission of HEC’s final report in the matter to the law ministry first before it is presented to the NA standing comittee on education.

He has also been asked to take the entire record concerning the phony degrees in his custody. It has been learnt that top government functionaries have expressed anger at the minister’s so-far inactive role in the whole saga.

The federal minister has declared the HEC as a subordinate organ of the ministry and the verification process launched by it as illegal. It may be recalled that a former education minister, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, had also attempted to place the HEC under the education ministry but to no avail.

Now Sardar Assef has been assigned to seek details of the progress so far made, take the record in his custody and establish the high-powered panel even while the HEC is in the middle of degrees’ verification.

Under the new scheme of things, the HEC will submit its report to the commission which, in turn, will send it to the law ministry. The report will be reviewed before being sent to the NA standing committee on education.

The sources said the government is using different tactics to halt the process of degrees’ verification. As the process continues unabated despite all the pressure exerted on the HEC chief, top government functionaries have asked the federal education minister to take matters in his hand.

Meanwhile, speaking at a seminar on education budget here on Thursday, Sardar Assef reiterated his view that the education sector should stay with the Centre as transfer of this sector to provinces will create many problems.

“Many ongoing projects remain incomplete because of funds shortage while the war on terror has also caused reduction in development money,” he remarked.

He said with the adoption of the 18th amendment by parliament, education has become a provincial subject while syllabus design has also been transferred to the federating units. “Different syllabi in all the provinces will create problems,” he said.

He said he will request chairman of the parliamentary committee on constitutional reforms Mian Raza Rabbani to let the task of curriculum preparation with the federation.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2010.

COMMENTS (4)

Ghafar Ali | 11 years ago | Reply It is not a High Powered Commission but a "Mitti Pao Commission" to bury the truth under the mud. Its a reflection of the typical PPP style of governance--encourage the fraudulents and remove the honests. You can find every PPP leader on TV channels parrotiing independence of institutions but when any action of any institutes goes against the PPP leaders that is scrapped. The Education minister who is supposed to reform and unpgrade the existing education system is in practice encouraging the fradulent ways of obtaining degrees. It is very unfortunate that the education minister even does not know the working of the HEC by saying that the HEC has no power of verification of degrees. Selfishness,frauds, dishonesty, insinsibility, immorality, disrespect to law and institutions, protecting the corrupt and punishing the honest is the hall mark of the government of the "poor". The Federation of All Pakistan Universtity Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) should come forward and help the HEC and teh universities administrations in the verification of degrees of not only the politicians but other public office holders as well.
Amanat ali | 11 years ago | Reply The very usual tactics of PPP, now they want to halt this process and to save these bogus/ fraudulent graduates. The Govt itself should kick-out the bogus degree holders rather than to protect. But the PPP is itself a corrupt Govt why he can do a good job. This new thing create a problem. We request the PM to please keep this verification method go on under the HEC not the ministry. The PM should go forward and stop the minister to talk like this. Mr, PM please kick them out the bogus literate members please.
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