Time to rid us of our ‘educated’ MPs

Published: December 8, 2012
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The writer is a former federal minister for science and technology and served as Chairman of the Higher Education Commission from 2002-08

The writer is a former federal minister for science and technology and served as Chairman of the Higher Education Commission from 2002-08

The present alarming state of affairs of our economy is directly connected with the presence and actions of dozens of ‘honourable’ parliamentarians who forged their degrees to become eligible for elections to the National and provincial assemblies in 2008. It is the actions of these ‘honourable’ parliamentarians, particularly the budgets that they approve for our national development, that have contributed in a major way to the current sad state of affairs in Pakistan.

The degrees of 51 parliamentarians were found to be forged. In addition, some 250 parliamentarians have refused to submit their original documents to the Higher Education Commission for verification, in clear defiance of the orders of the Supreme Court. In any other country, such legislators would have ended up in jail for forgery, the government would have collapsed and new mid-term elections would have been held. But not in the Land of the Pure. The former chief election commissioner decided not to obey the orders of the Supreme Court and looked the other way. The Supreme Court should have acted swiftly as this was a most urgent national matter — the presence of some 300 persons sitting illegally in our National and provincial assemblies, controlling the destiny of our country and making our laws. A contempt of court notice should have been served on the chief election commissioner in 2010.

The present Chief Election Commissioner, Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, is reputed to be an honest and upright person. He now has a legal obligation to urgently undo this wrong done by his institution and to implement the decision of the Supreme Court by declaring null and void the elections of those legislators who refused to provide evidence regarding their degrees. We expect that he will act fearlessly and expeditiously to undo the harm done by his predecessor. He must not consider the consequences of his action, as he is bound by the law of the land. He must honour the decision of the Supreme Court and apply the law swiftly so that those members of parliament who were elected illegally in the 2008 elections are dismissed and disbarred from politics for life. The Supreme Court should also ensure that its decision is implemented forthwith.

Due to poor governance and rampant corruption under the rule of some of these legislators, Pakistan is today faced with an unsustainable and collapsing economy. The national debt has doubled during the last five years alone. As a result, international lending agencies such as the IMF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank control our national development policies and shape our future. And in turn, they are often strongly influenced by world powers. A book titled Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (Berrett-Koehler, 2004) by John Perkins was a runaway best-seller because the book described in some detail how developing countries are brought to their knees by corrupt practices through plots by a foreign government agency. The leaders of these countries are persuaded with huge kickbacks to take mega loans from foreign aid-giving agencies. Once submerged in debt, these countries are economically strangulated to a point where they have to timidly obey commands from foreign masters. What has happened in Pakistan, particularly, during the last five years, is uncomfortably close to the scenario described by Perkins in his best-seller.

The parliamentary system of government has repeatedly failed to deliver for two major interconnected reasons: the stranglehold of the feudal system and massive illiteracy. It is the corrupt and powerful that come into parliament and later rule over us. We need to amend the Constitution so that we have a presidential system of government and the president then chooses his own team of professionals and technocrats as cabinet ministers from outside parliament. The role of parliament should only be to make laws (so the majority of parliamentarians must be highly educated) and to have oversight on the running of the government. Persons appointed at key positions (including the president, cabinet ministers, parliamentarians and heads of public-sector organisations) must be first thoroughly screened by a Committee of Elders (comprising retired judges and eminent citizens of spotless character) for their integrity, capabilities and professionalism before being declared eligible for elections.

It is now up to the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Election Commission of Pakistan to act. The hundreds of  ‘honourable’ legislators who cheated to get into parliament must be brought to justice.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2012. 

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Reader Comments (49)

  • Nadir
    Dec 8, 2012 - 11:18PM

    What rubbish, first of all, if people have fake degrees and came into power, they should be treated as per the law of the land. Not by subjective statements by the lacky of a Military dictator. It is only for the voter who decides who should or should not represent them. There is hardly a link between legislators having fake degrees or not and economic performance as Pakistan’s economic issues may not be dealt with effectively by the current government, which is an executive issue, but legislators didnt lay the framework of a consumption led bomb of the Musharaf era, whose cabinet you were a part off. You claim to be highly educated yet you didnt forsee the short-termism of basing economic policy on using gas for CNG? Speculation to pump up the stock market and property prices? Fueling consumption by giving out cars on lease on producing two photocopies of an NIC?

    Your proposals are nothing more than a return to dictatorship. BA pass Army officers can become COAS with a war course along the way, and then they can run state industries and that is supposed to be excellent management, and you suggest we setup committees of “honourable citizens” to place politicians under the scanner?

    Pakistan doesnt operate in a vacuum, if educated legislators was the sole criteria for good policy making then Western bureaucracies and assemblies stuffed with Oxbridge and Ivy League graduates wouldn’t be going through prolonged economic hardship at present.

    Your populist rhetoric will thankfully never see the light of day, barring another coup of sorts and the appointment of technocrats, such as yourself to lord over 190 millions people, and lecture them on how they are incompetent to make decisions themselves. Please stick to HAARP and conspiracy theories!

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  • Aslam Kalhoro
    Dec 8, 2012 - 11:26PM

    Dear Dr. Atta ur Rehman,
    Being a lawyer and a legal expert also a sociologist, i find your article to be very simplistic. you should write articles about science and technology etc, the field where you have expertise. from what i understand, you want a preseidential form of government in the country. which means the whole constitution has to be re written and a systems of checks and balances like that in the USA to be implemented and replace with our Parliamentary form of Govt. Do you believe it will be hard for the foriegn powers you talk of to influnce a President in the country as opposed to a Prime Minister.
    I dont know if experimenting will get us anywhere; in the field of politics only time and experience can better a system; in our case we have never let a system of government work. always experimneting, dear Dr. this isnt the field of science where experimenting might get you a favourable result; the only way you will get a better result is when you let a system work and overtime develop a habit of obedience to that system. we have unfortunately been switching systems throughout our 65 odd years. if the parliamentary form of govt. had continued from Quaid e Azam to date; the picture would have been different. Think about it; can we afford more experimentation or are we to gain experience in this system of govt.?

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  • Aslam Kalhoro
    Dec 8, 2012 - 11:27PM

    Dear Dr. Atta ur Rehman,
    Being a lawyer and a legal expert also a sociologist, i find your article to be very simplistic. you should write articles about science and technology etc, the field where you have expertise. from what i understand, you want a preseidential form of government in the country. which means the whole constitution has to be re written and a systems of checks and balances like that in the USA to be implemented and replace with our Parliamentary form of Govt. Do you believe it will be hard for the foriegn powers you talk of to influnce a President in the country as opposed to a Prime Minister.
    I dont know if experimenting will get us anywhere; in the field of politics only time and experience can better a system; in our case we have never let a system of government work. always experimneting, dear Dr. this isnt the field of science where experimenting might get you a favourable result; the only way you will get a better result is when you let a system work and overtime develop a habit of obedience to that system. we have unfortunately been switching systems throughout our 65 odd years. if the parliamentary form of govt. had continued from Quaid e Azam to date; the picture would have been different. Think about it; can we afford more experimentation or are we to gain experience in this system of govt.?Recommend

  • Hamad Jatt
    Dec 9, 2012 - 12:34AM

    Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under in Pakistan. We have seen that system fail to deliver in Pakistani perspective or culture at all. There are 100 of reason I can write down here on its failure. But we all know well.Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country.
    I am totally agree with Attar REhaman now we have to switch to Presidential system. In USA it goes well. In China they have president kind of. Singapore They get benefits by that system.

    @Aslam Kalhoro, I am not agree the reason you gave is very stereotype. We can not wait 100 more years to get rid this mess. Why not we change it and try to do better and will come to Parliamentary system at suitable time. this source of corruption, alas, is inherent in the democratic system itself, and it can only be controlled, if at all, by finding ways to encourage legislators to subordinate ambition to principle. But how it can be possible that all subordinate there ambitions to law. As all go for politics to get more power. Man you are very wrong hrer sorry!!

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  • Jamshad
    Dec 9, 2012 - 12:38AM

    MR Attur Rehaman you are among one of the top brain in Pakistan, And it will be hard for people to understand you. Corruption is nature’s way of restoring our faith in democracy. But what else we can do than, we left with option of Presidential system in realm of affairs of Pak.
    I am sure it will work for Pak.

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  • Waqar Cheema
    Dec 9, 2012 - 12:46AM

    I am with great scientist Of pak Mr Attaur Rahman,I can tell you the reason for arab spring, The present Arab uprising didn’t stem from Israel. The old guard is trying to keep down the young chickens or people of country. The old guard is better organized. They may win elections, but unless they have a solution to poverty, to corruption, to oppression, they will not last. I am with the young people.
    I will appreciate if we switch to presidential system. This idea float by one of the most intelligent person(Attar Rahman) of Pak, we should listen him. He loves country a lot.

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  • Dq
    Dec 9, 2012 - 12:47AM

    @Nadir: “BA pass Army officers can become COAS with a war course along the way”

    Not BA pass…FA pass actually…you can’t call that bogus piece of paper you get in PMA a degree…

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  • sabi
    Dec 9, 2012 - 1:26AM

    In any other country, such legislators would have ended up in jail for forgery, the government would have collapsed and new mid-term elections would have been held. But not in the Land of the Pure.
    And what about Your ex Boss who is living luxary life after voilating constitution against his owth,sending elected prime minister in jail.leaving the legacy of suicide bombers for this nation.
    No chance to fool public now by bashing politicians.

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  • Dec 9, 2012 - 3:03AM

    I whole heartedly agree with you. Those with fake degrees should have been tried and put behind bar. They are criminals and have no right to be sitting in parliament.

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  • abu-uzhur
    Dec 9, 2012 - 3:09AM

    @Dr Atta-ur-Rahman Sahib

    Sorry to point out that your article demonstrates a shallowness of understanding

    combined with intellectual hubris . You wrongly assume that people with university

    degrees ( including Ph.D’s ) are superior to ordinary mortals in understanding our

    socio-political problems , commitment to democratic values and norms or

    adherence to principles of integrity and honesty . You may revise your views

    if you invite some vice-chancellors ( Ph.D’s of course ) of your “world-ranking”

    universities and request them to speak coherently and meaningfully on issues

    pertaining to their own field , that is, role of higher education in developing countries . Be

    the judge yourself , but make the results public.

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  • Ali
    Dec 9, 2012 - 3:16AM

    @Nadir:
    It’s non sense to compare Pakistan and it’s current situation to Western legislatures and their Ivy league and Oxbridge graduates.
    Pakistan is on the verge of being classed as failed state. Less than 50 percent of the population is literate. People are starving to death. Industry has collapsed. Health care is non existent for the poor.
    Compare that to any European country. They may have a economic issues but nothing like what we have. We still go begging to them for money.
    They are run by technocrats. We are run by feudal illiterates who believe that a bogus degree and a real degree is worth the same.
    Did our ministers cheat? Yes. If they can get away with it why not let the common man such liberties?
    What have 5 years of PPP brought the people other than more misery? The PML-N are no better.

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  • Saleem
    Dec 9, 2012 - 3:26AM

    In a country will widespread Jihalat and a strangle hold by feudals and tax chor industrialists there is little chance of a proper functioning democracy. Free and fair elections are only one of several components of a real democracy. We have kleptocracym, corruptocracy and illiteracy not real democracy. Even the parties that claim to be ‘champions of democracy’ do not have democractic party elections.

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  • gujranwala789
    Dec 9, 2012 - 3:57AM

    Atta ur rehman sahab is more used to dictators, his opion is useless for democratic people.

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  • Saif M
    Dec 9, 2012 - 6:20AM

    The doctor is partially right. Presidential system has certain advantages.

    But this committee of elders screening the candidates for president and prime minister is patent nonsense. Who is going to select the committee of elders? And who is going to select citizens of “spotless character”? This is rubbish. Hasn’t worked in the past, and will not in the future.

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  • wonderer
    Dec 9, 2012 - 8:54AM

    Whether you agree with the writer or you don’t, you must not lose sight of a cardinal principal that applies to all countries. You will get only as good a Government as you deserve. In other words, we do not deserve a better Government, whatever system we may adopt. After all, the Government has to come out of us. It can not be imported.

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  • hamza khan
    Dec 9, 2012 - 8:59AM

    @Nadir:

    another typical way out of proportion response from you. keep your hatred of president musharraf aside. the reality is that legislators who do have violated the law by sneaking into parliament to do nothing good for the country ought to be facing the music. dr. ata ur rehmans previous roles are not the subject here.

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  • Mirza
    Dec 9, 2012 - 9:42AM

    Dear Doc, are you still talking about Pakistan where thousands of doctors with fake degrees play with the lives of our innocent people? Thousands of dentists pull the teeth out of unsuspecting patients without any degree and training. Thousands of teachers and pilots with fake degrees are playing with the lives of our young and old alike.
    A dictator, usurper who committed acts of high treason mutilated the constitution to include a graduation degree as a condition to contest elections. Most all mullahs were recognized to have degrees and most of the current “fake” degree holders had completed a full five years term in Mush’s era without any objection by the PCO judges and people like you. Again these people were elected in 2008 after the election commission had Okayed their nomination papers. After Mush’s exit the SC of Pakistan undid the illegal and unconstitutional condition of graduation. After that SC decision some still want to try the legislators under the unconstitutional law! The graduate degree condition is not even in countries like the US. The elections are inclusive not exclusive. Anybody who can vote in good standing be a candidate. Elections should not exclude 90% of the population especially after the SC has dropped the condition. Why should people still be haunted for not following the law which has been illegal to start with? Only a few elite can continue supporting the illegal acts of general.Recommend

  • Kamran Naqvi
    Dec 9, 2012 - 10:02AM

    Those Parliamentarians who have failed or refused to submit their original Degrees to HEC should have the same fate as those who have failed to submit Declaration about dual nationality to the ECP.
    At least, the HEC & ECP should publicise the names of those 250 dubious degreeholders.

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  • Gary
    Dec 9, 2012 - 10:56AM

    @sabi: How come such laws don’t exist in any civilized democracy, but only in the land of pure? Dis-qualifing people to hold office based on race, color, religion, sex, education, etc etc is anachronistic.

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  • Adil Zaman
    Dec 9, 2012 - 11:51AM

    The parliamentary system cannot work in Pakistan. The reason is obvious. Parliamentary type of government is only possible through people who are well educated, well mannered, politically aware, and morally suitable and so on. We in Pakistan have a strong feudal or simply hierarchic societal structure. In order to have a parliamentary system work bitterly, the societal equality is necessary, which does not seem to be brought in night. Another reason is that parliamentary type of government is a type of government which required highly democratic people and representatives. And I think the history is quite clear enough to show that what these highly undemocratic representatives have done to Pakistan. Let’s not to be further exploited by these fake politicians.
    Another important factor is the highly undemocratic nature of the political parties in Pakistan. All the political parties based on inheritance. And this culture is not easy to change. So the better option would be to deprive this parliament from power, which they are using against the people of Pakistan.
    The presidential system can work in Pakistan bitterly if managed carefully and with sincerity. I think it even does not need to replace the original constitution. Only the administrative part will have to be adjusted. Only through this system the highly qualified people can be utilized and can be explored to serve the country. And this would not be taken as experiment but as a challenge.Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Dec 9, 2012 - 12:59PM

    @Nadir: who are voters…me & you ? we are just below 40 %….the majority vote influencers are these +60 %…..& these +60% are mainly illiterate & thus are under the influence of these jagirdars / feudal lords, Sardars etc; so you still think that the kind of people we elect are qualified to bring improvement in the lives of these 60 % ? have they proved that till today ? Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Dec 9, 2012 - 1:13PM

    @sabi:
    I am all for ” democratic form of govt “, but what has it delivered to the poor people for the last 4.5 years ? go & ask people in the street…are they better off today or 4.5 years ago ? they are not interested like people in China, who are not interested in any system as long as they fed themselves & their families for 2 square meal a day without fear of being killed as soon as he is out for a job like it is in PAKISTAN TODAY….. was such a situation of law & order 4.5 yrs ago ? was such economic situation 4.5 yrs ago ?, was such electricity shortages 4.5 yrs ago ?….was such corruption at such a level 4.5 yrs ago ? & the list can go on….by this I am not favoring dictatorship, but my personal opinion ” Corruption with good governance is acceptable, but Corruption with bad governance is not acceptable “….90 % country in the world ” Corruption ” exists, but they spend 90 % on their people & pocket 10 %, whereas it is reverse in our country….Recommend

  • Akhter
    Dec 9, 2012 - 1:18PM

    “The degrees of 51 parliamentarians were found to be forged. In addition, some 250 parliamentarians have refused to submit their original documents to the Higher Education Commission for verification, in clear defiance of the orders of the Supreme Court.”

    A very sad state of affairs we have here in Pakistan, rather than reading the actual article and being horrified at the above facts we start to vilify the Army and Musharraf era! as well as making personal attacks on the author ( who is a highly educated and respected citizen of PAKISTAN)
    Some valid points were raised as to which form of governance should be implemented in Pakistan and as a citizen has every right to state his opinion.
    In ANY country of the world the forgery of a document and use of this to procure something is considered ILLEGAL and as such is punishable by law, hence the authorities SHOULD and MUST act expeditiously to ensure justice is done! Furthermore the argument that because Mr Musharraf is in exile so its ok to partake in illegal activities because he (Musharraf got away) has not been prosecuted is a shallow and morally weak route to take. If and when Mr Musharraf returns a inquiry can be set up and he can be punished at that time if found guilty, however those who have forged documents should be punished forthwith, A simplistic analogy i wish to make is you recruit a Dr (with forged degree) who is clearly not qualified for the job, would you let him,/her carry out an operation? and when you find out about his fake degree should he/she not be punished for this ?.
    So how can you allow a morally corrupt politician with fake degree decide on the future of your country?

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  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Dec 9, 2012 - 1:26PM

    Dr Atta ur Reman is a very honorable person and entitled to his views. However I find it an intellectual dishonesty that the same reasons were not mooted by Dr Atta when more than 60 MPs sat in the assembly with Madrassah Sannat during Musharraf time. Also, please do not forget history. The presidential system tore away East Pakistan from us. In Pakistan only feasible system is fereal paliamentary system. Give it time; it has a self-cleansing mechanism.

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  • Akhter
    Dec 9, 2012 - 1:35PM

    @Dq: @Nadir

    Thank you for your enlightened comments, your ignorance and bigotry towards the army is clear, however to smear the entire army with same brush is unfair! A few Army generals do not make up the entire Army, Countless lives are saved by this institution and many Jawans/capt’s/major’s etc have given there lives so that you and i may have a country (albeit a fractured tormented one) but we still have a country The PMA is a highly educated and professional organization and are not to blame for the pathetic situation we find ourselves in . The Author touched on superpowers of the world that work to make us internally weak and then dictate terms which we subsequently follow this has been the case since 1948 and is still an ongoing process. The only way this can change is if we my brothers change our thinking we have to rediscover Qaids principle of FAITH and UNITY. We have for too long viewed each other through the lenses of difference (Pakhtoon/Punjabi/Sindhi/Balouchi/PPP/N-League/Q-League/MQM/ANP etc) we need to look through the lenses of similarities What is the one thing we all share and own! Pakistan.

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  • Dec 9, 2012 - 3:55PM

    Dr A Rahman, mentions John Perkins, the author of a book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man I have not read the book, may be Pakistan’s case has been discussed there. In an interview on RT he “exposes”, warts and all, the US involvement around the world.
    .
    Politicians in Islamabad are nothing but pint-sized puppets.
    .
    Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

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  • White Russian
    Dec 9, 2012 - 4:10PM

    What about the fake PhDs being produced under the umbrella of HEC?

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  • Nadir
    Dec 9, 2012 - 4:49PM

    @ishrat salim: So what? Poor people should be disenfranchised because rich people happen to think that their decision making ability is better? Thats nonsense, there is no evidence to suggest that the illiterate or the poor make poor decisions. Every country in the world has a large masses of the exploited who vote according to linguistic, regional or ideological lines. e There is no rationality when emotions and passions come into play. They are scores of examples from across the world, from the Tea Party in America to the New Dawn fascists in Greece. This is just the arrogance of the rich and affluent in Pakistan who believe that their decisions are more worthy than those of the poor and illiterate.

    @Akhter: PMA may be what it is, but being an Army officer does not qualify an individual to assume government office, run industries, housing schemes or universities post retirement, no more than your “corrupt politicans and civil servants”.

    @Hamza: As for Dr Ata, many of the legislators who have been found to have fake degrees were in parliament when he was a Minister, some are even members of his former allies. Where was his quest to unearth fake degrees then? Dr Ata may argue that people should be treated as per the law, thats fine, but he goes further than that, arguing that large number of Pakistanis should be disenfranchised, when he goes there, his previous roles does have a bearing on his arguments.

    Given the state of thinking of our so called technocratic elite, nothing will improve, because people like him think that the vast majority of Pakistanis are unable to make decisions for themselves.

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  • SK5
    Dec 9, 2012 - 4:52PM

    @White Russian:
    “What about the fake PhDs being produced under the umbrella of HEC?”, REALLY so the 120 PhD students that came from Pakistan to New Zealand are fakers?. Give credit where its due otherwise don’t make pointless hoodbhoy inspired statements!.

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  • Dec 9, 2012 - 5:02PM

    Only one thing in the article is worthy of attention and that is the need for presidential form of government. Pakistan should change to this system to get rid of the stranglehold of feudal colonialists.

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  • ishrat salim
    Dec 9, 2012 - 6:40PM

    @Mirza: Saheb….the best example of an educated politician & the rest of politicians is just to compare Mr Raza Rabbani , Iqbal Haider, Aitaz Ahsan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Mehmood Kasuri, Hafeez Peerzada, Azfar Sb, Mubashir Hasan etc; to name few who stands tall among the present lot….most of them are half read…

    Mr Ata is not comparing Gen M period but the quality of people who were in his team…
    Mr Ata is not pleading or justifying grounds on which Gen M should come….

    Educated people are definitely qualified to play a better role as advisers & Catalyst for change…this point must be appreciated instead of justifying that education is not a very important criteria…yes ! in Pakistan, this may be true with people like you around, no wonder than ” who need enemy when we have friends like you “…..

    ET..pls print my comment bcz truth should prevail…..

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  • Dec 9, 2012 - 7:00PM

    There is a whole variety governmental forms. Monarchies, monarchies with a parliament and PM, just the monarch, presidential system, president and PM, just one chamber of representatives, two chambers etc.
    .
    Which is the one that is more effective in performing its duties or respects the voice of masses? No one can easily prove the superiority of one system over the other. Genuine degree holder, or outright criminals get elected in Pakistani elections despite loud claims to the contrary, they are there guarding interests of the stakeholders. Even if the elections were carried out with commendable honesty, the ones that form the government would need a little private chat with a Mr Negroponte or some name like that. Gen Ayub signed away freedom of Pakistan well long in the past. Who all should be winning the elections it is determined far in advance. It becomes a party’s role to hoodwink foreign interests by showing success at the ballot box. Hamas may have won at the ballots but were they allowed to form a government?. .
    .
    The unwashed remain unwashed.
    .
    England the much eulogised country in Pakistan, for its democracy, the conservative government is facing bitter opposition by man in the streets after the cut down in health services etc.., while big corporations avoid paying taxes..

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  • PTI Mardan
    Dec 9, 2012 - 7:12PM

    Kick out fake degree holders,vote for PTIRecommend

  • abu-uzhur
    Dec 9, 2012 - 7:33PM

    We all know , and keep fretting about it , how poorly our country is being run

    by our politicians . Dr Sahib has proposed measures to improve things in this respect .

    I wonder why Dr Sahib , as an all-powerful HEC Chairman for over ten years, did not

    realize how chronically

    oudated and dysfunctional is the internal adminitration of our universities , and that no

    real and durable improvements in higher education are possible without its radical

    reformation . This is the major reason why

    various efforts over half a century ( Ayyub , Bhutto , Musharraf eras ) to turn our

    nominal universities, merely under-grad colleges in substance, into real seats of learning

    and research remained fruitless . Dr Sahib laments ( quite rightly ) the abysmal

    incompetence of our

    political leadership . I wonder who will lament the equally abysmal incompetence of our

    universites’ leadership .

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  • Dec 9, 2012 - 7:54PM

    @Dq: @Nadir
    PMA is one of the finest Military academy of the world. Its very tru that An F.Sc/F.A/Intermediate passed Boy joins the Army but after passing through ISSB… and in Army we do not need professors, army needs leader who can lead their men in heat of battle. and PMA is know as the cradle of leadership .. The Cadets alnogwith that Bachelor degree learns the art of tactics , Leadership, Other military subjects which include weapon handling etc … and Army keeps on investing on the intellectual grooming as well as professional grooming of their officers … There are series of mandatory courses which an officer has to do..
    Plz dnt comment or criticize Army for the sake of criticism …. Its the only institution when a son of sepoy can reach to the post of COAS … and their are many more examples ….
    Identify the correct problem Dear Then rectify that …. KADUUUUUU MA TEER CHALANY SA kuch nahi Mily Ga

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  • Dec 9, 2012 - 8:21PM

    @PTI Mardan:
    “Kick out fake degree holders,vote for PTI”

    .
    Fake degrees or ball-tampering is not tolerated by many other parties-

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  • shakrullah
    Dec 9, 2012 - 9:07PM

    @SK5

    You have trashed the observation of White Russian in an unjutifiably purfunctory

    manner .

    The Ph.D degrees awarded by the Pakistani universities under incentive schemes

    of HEC mostly deserve the label used by White Russia, that is, ‘fake’ . That is one

    topic which warms up the gossip sessions of university teachers themselves on our

    campuses , in addition to the corruption of our politicians .

    Hoodbhoy is not that wrong .

    About 3 decades back the universities in the Western world were obliged by

    their governments ” to pay their own way ” , that is , to sustain themselves on their

    own revenues . Since then most of the universities have tranformed themselveves into

    commercial ventures . Hence no problem in getting degrees ( 2 # , or even 3 # ) if you pay fees/expenses .

    Hoodbhoy is not that wrong . We should listen to him very seriously .Recommend

  • Akhter
    Dec 9, 2012 - 9:08PM

    We seem to have selective amnesia at voting time, i have often stated that democracy in its current form is /has been manipulated by the few to gain seats in Parliament, Today in Pakistan each area has a bid price which is met by the Party wishing to win that seat, Poor illiterate people as they are more vulnerable are the prime targets and as such are told in no uncertain words WHO they HAVE to vote for , hence pre-poll rigging, furthermore often the ECP representative is selected for a particular polling station to ensure voting goes there way! so i ask how? is this democracy?. All the taxi stand cars are booked at election time as well as buses so that people can be ferried in to vote for the feudal. This is the sad truth of democracy in Pakistan,

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  • ishrat salim
    Dec 10, 2012 - 4:29PM

    @Nadir: Whether you accept it or not, poor illiterate people who are under the influence of Jagirdars, tribal leaders, feudals cannot make a right decision because they are not aware of tgheir rights & social responsibilities.Show me one example where these poor people in our society can make any correct decision ? their lives are controlled by these jagirdars etc; & yet you say these poor illiterate people can make right decision in choosing a right candidate to represent them ?

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  • White Russian
    Dec 10, 2012 - 7:50PM

    @SK5:
    I think I know sufficient about the quality of PhDs produced in this country to label them as fake. I have observed hundreds of PhD candidates and their advisors in lot of Pak universities. A huge majority of them, at least in the fields to which I am accustomed to, are carrying research on half baked, unworkable, petty and useless concepts. Most of the work is nothing more than cataloguing of useless data produced mechanically through button-pushing on whatever instrument they get their hands on. Defending their thesis is nothing more than barely fitting into legal and technical requirements to award a degree.

    I have seen scores of western universitires and how research groups work there. I have seen all of Pak universities, and I can safely say that what passes on as “Ph.D defence” here (on the basis of which our universities award degrees) would be rejected in five minutes in a routine weekly group meeting of a research group in Europe or US.

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  • Abid P. Khan
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:34AM

    @White Russian:
    “….I can safely say that what passes on as “Ph.D defence” here (on the basis of which our universities award degrees) would be rejected in five minutes in a routine weekly group meeting of a research group in Europe or US….”

    .
    You are very much right in saying that. I too an outsider would reject it. One needs to be aware of the fact that a good many thesis works which are acceptable at foreign institutes, going by the criteria you have mentioned, should not by any justification be deemed fit of being called a doctorate work.

    One should not ignore the fact that despite rigorous methods for evaluation, many a researchers defraud the system so cleverly that they are never caught. In fact they may have produced poor work as their Pakistani counterpart.if not even poorer. They have learnt the ropes for fulfilling the legal and technical requirements for getting awarded a degree.
    .
    This cannot by any means be taken to muster support for substandard research work carried out in geographically diverse locations of the country.
    .
    While critiquing, use of the word excellent should be avoided till the day we produce something really excellent.
    .

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  • Dec 11, 2012 - 8:06AM

    So it has come to this, that a call for accountability and following the due process of law by the respected writer is met by deafening cynicism, criticism, and hypocrisy by the public, as seen from the comments above. We surely deserve what is coming towards us next, no question.

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  • ishrat salim
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:10PM

    @Caramelized_Onion:

    Yr comment appreciated, hence, I believe ” our intellectuals have gone intellectually bankrupt “…..

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  • Abid P. Khan
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:37PM

    @ishrat salim:
    “@Caramelized_Onion:
    Yr comment appreciated, hence, I believe ” our intellectuals have gone intellectually bankrupt “…..”

    .
    The few who deserved to be called intellectuals are silent or being silenced.
    .
    Resistance is futile, assimilate.

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  • abu-uzhur
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:26PM

    @Ishtiaq Ahmed:

    Yes , Dr Atta-ur-Rahman is a very honorable man ; but not infallible or immune to the

    common human weakness of wrapping oneself up in self-justificatory delusions .

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  • Abid P. Khan
    Dec 12, 2012 - 12:25AM

    The point under discussion is not the person of Dr Rehman nor his performance as the chairman of HEC.
    .
    Like any person on the globe he can participate in any discussion on ET. I find it very annoying that some commentators are proposing that his voice be gagged. At the same time it is not that surprising to hear such fascistic opinion. We simply lack the culture of freedom of expression. Lets not help in fascism taking root in the society.
    .
    There are many more people like him who believe that if a certain qualification is required for a job, it should be fulfilled. If one has been ordered by a court to uphold a rule, it should not be made a mockery by anyone, even if one happens to be called the PM. Law applies equally on every one.

    MNAs could have been elected but are not God’s chosen children. .

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  • Factual
    Dec 12, 2012 - 3:41AM

    @SK5: Since when Newzealand acquired the status of having best UNIs in the world? the truth is PhD students feel happy as they have never get 900-1200 Euroes in their life time before this money pot of HEC lends the scholarships out; then some hope to settle abraod, some dis hard for jobs other than than Pakistan and some get back in the hope to take a flying start… Money is the story of HEC and it shall remain so….

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  • Dec 12, 2012 - 5:16PM

    It is time that Dr. Attaur Rehman sees the reality and accept the bitter fact that he finally lost out. He left HEC on the basis of his egoism but left his ‘ego alter’ the ED with HEC to perpetuate his control, now we the people, true owners of HEC, realize and decided to discontinue this power by proxism. Dr. Rehamn must be prevented from interfering in the affairs of HEC as an outsider he has no more roles to play there except for disrupting its functioning.

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  • Ishrat salim
    Dec 13, 2012 - 1:41AM

    Above comments expose that we are not prepared to accept truth and does not know how to respect people who have done much for the betterment of our higher education…..the job and responsibility entrusted upon Dr Atta was executed in best possible way for which students are getting its benefit today…..let us salute such great people….the reason for our present downfall in all area is because we do not respect nor appreciate people who have contributed so much by sacrificing their previous commitments to serve our country….we deserve what we are TODAY….the truth is always bitter….face it.

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