Backpedalling?: ECP denies pressure on ‘degrees issue’

Published: February 24, 2013
Email
As many as 249 MPs were asked to submit their educational certificates within 15 days of the notice or their degrees would be declared fake. PHOTO: FILE

As many as 249 MPs were asked to submit their educational certificates within 15 days of the notice or their degrees would be declared fake. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has unofficially extended the deadline for submission of educational certificates of Members of Parliament (MPs) for an indefinite period. Officially, the commission has strongly denied doing so under pressure.

Sources in the ECP revealed that there is no deadline for MPs to comply with the letters sent to them earlier this month by the commission. As many as 249 MPs were asked to submit their educational certificates within 15 days of the notice or their degrees would be declared fake.

Though recent developments suggest that the ECP is dragging its feet on taking action against the MPs, the commission says no one is pressing it.  “There is no pressure on the ECP … and why should there be any,” Additional Secretary Afzal Khan told The Express Tribune on Saturday. Khan, however, declined further comments.

The issue came to lime light when Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan censured the ECP during the National Assembly session for having sent “derogatory letter to MPs”. Chaudhry Nisar’s views were endorsed by every party in the lower house.

Soon afterwards, Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ebrahim telephoned Chaudhry Nisar to pacify him. The opposition leader has also demanded the commission withdraw the letter sent to him and other MPs. Additional Secretary Afzal Khan did not reply when asked if the commission had withdrawn the letter.

On the other hand, Justice (retd) Tariq Mehmood said ‘degrees’ of MPs was not the real issue. “The condition of graduation for contesting elections is no more relevant for the next elections, therefore, this [fake degree issue] is like a distraction,” he added.

Responding to a question on ECP’s letter which warned the MPs of initiating criminal proceedings against them if the failed to comply with the directives and their degrees would be presumed as fake, Mehmood said “criminal cases cannot be lodged on mere presumption.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2013.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (10)

  • Fahad Hafeez
    Feb 24, 2013 - 10:20AM

    “The condition of graduation for contesting elections is no more relevant for the next elections”

    And we were in an illusion that things might improve after the elections.

    Recommend

  • Feb 24, 2013 - 11:01AM

    Whats the big problem? Can’t these candidates afford the postage?

    Recommend

  • Tee
    Feb 24, 2013 - 11:27AM

    A derogatory letter? why did you claim to have a degree if you can’t prove it? are they ashamed of having that degree? because they certainly have no shame lying so blatantly.

    Recommend

  • H.A. Khan
    Feb 24, 2013 - 11:32AM

    ECP is acting like a jelly: moving and moulding but still holding

    Recommend

  • Hassan J
    Feb 24, 2013 - 11:57AM

    Gentlemen its not that ur BA degrees are needed for next election, its provision 61, 62 of Article to see which one are u SADIQ & AMEEN. If you lie to get in to Parliament by faking your degrees or are still holding your seats despite of being dual nationals, its setting wrong precedent for remaining 180million countrymen who will also look upto corrupt and malpractices and would follow suit

    Recommend

  • Ali
    Feb 24, 2013 - 12:12PM

    Many of them carry MA and BA degrees but do not have metric and inter degree – Because getting MA degrees is much easier in our system. And one of funny statement given by one is that many amongst them are O and A levels. Factually, majority amongst them never saw school for educational purpose.

    Recommend

  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Feb 24, 2013 - 12:27PM

    Why the educational degrees are camouflaging from verification and presenting in the ECP?Are they Pakistani politicians who are camouflaging their education or are they uneducated and pretending to be the educated?????

    Recommend

  • Falcon
    Feb 24, 2013 - 12:53PM

    Indefinite period for submission = Please don’t worry about it; Sorry for disturbing your highness.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Feb 24, 2013 - 1:56PM

    @Hassan J:
    Sir, if the standard of Ameen and Sadiq is applied on the past of our politicians, generals and judges then nobody would pass that test. From the past lives of IK to the PCO SC judges to those running a business empire from the CJ’s govt residence there are more and more allegations that nobody could pass the test. If lying is the benchmark then no lawyer, politician or ISPR, ISI and judges could pass that test. Why only concentrate on the past of politicians? Where is Islamic equality now, why are the protectors of OBL not questioned?

    Regards,
    M

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Feb 24, 2013 - 2:01PM

    Justice (retd) Tariq Mehmood said ‘degrees’ of MPs was not the real issue. “The condition of graduation for contesting elections is no more relevant for the next elections, therefore, this [fake degree issue] is like a distraction,” he added.
    That condition was unconstitutional and imposed by a military dictator. The SC has thrown that out with the exit of the dictator. Justice Mehmood is right, it is only a campaign to malign the candidates and influence the next elections. He is correct that the assumption that past claim is wrong cannot be used to prosecute anybody.

    Recommend

More in Pakistan