ISLAMABAD: While the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has cleared the names of around 15 ministers after verifying their academic credentials, the prime minister himself and the rest of his cabinet colleagues are yet to get a clean chit from the commission.
The HEC has so far cleared the names of more than 372 parliamentarians (National Assembly and the Senate) and members of four provincial assemblies after the verification of their educational certificates. The commission has declared the degrees of another 49 public representatives as fake or invalid.
According to detailed lists the HEC submitted before the Election Commission of Pakistan, copies of which are available with The Express Tribune, degrees of around 100 MNAs and 38 Senators have been pronounced valid.
Two ministers in Yousaf Raza Gilani’s cabinet – Humayun Aziz Kurd, Minister for Livestock and Dairy Development, and Israrullah Zehri, Minister for Postal Services, are among those whose degrees have been declared invalid.
The 16 cabinet members cleared so far include Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Muhammad Afzal Sindhu, Waqar Ahmed Khan, Babar Khan Ghori, Rehman Malik, Hina Rabbani Khar, Syed Mumtaz Alam Gilani, Nabeel Ahmed Gabol, Dr Farooq Sattar, Najamuddin Khan, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Rehmatullah Kakar and Dr Ayatullah Durrani.
The degrees of Dr Fehmida Mirza, Speaker National Assembly, Farooq H Naek, Chairman Senate, and Jan Muhammad Jamali, Deputy Chairman of Senate have also been established as authentic. Similarly, the academic papers of chief ministers of Sindh and Balochistan have also been found valid.
The HEC is yet to verify the degrees of Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Leader of Opposition in the Senate Waseem Sajjad and Leader of the House in the Senate Nayyar Bokhari.
The HEC has submitted three lists to the ECP so far. The last one was furnished on August 30, which clears 83 public representatives while declares three as holding invalid degrees. Jawad Hussain from NA-39, Malik Aamir Yar Waran (who has resigned from NA-184) and Malik Iqbal Ahmed Langriyal, Member Punjab Assembly (MPA) are the new additions to the old list of 46 fake/invalid degree holders.
Prominent MNAs whose names appear in the latest list of valid degree holders include Faryal Talpur (NA-207), Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi (NA-211), Shamshad Sattar Bachani (NA-223), Dr Abdul Wahid Soomro, Manwar Lal (reserved seat), Mian Margoob Ahmed (NA-121), Sardar Irfan Dogar (NA-134), Chaudhry Iftikhar Nazir (NA-159), Syed Muhammad Saqlain Bukhari (NA-182), Syed Hamid Saeed Kazmi (NA-192), Shahnaz Salim (reserved seat), Syed Ayaz Shah Sheerazi (NA-238), Mamoona Hashmi (reserved seat), Sardar Muhammad Tareen and Dr Ayatullah Durrani.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2010.