Fake degrees


April 14, 2010

KARACHI: This is with reference to the article in your issue of April 12 by Salman Masood titled ‘Rewarding those with fake degrees’. Is it not criminal to obtain and issue bogus degrees?

I am told that the People’s Representation Act of 1976 did not prescribe any punishment for obtaining and issuing bogus degrees but surely those who are found guilty of this could be tried under some section of the Criminal Procedure Code. Other than resigning their seat in parliament, those found guilty of this offence are not given any punishment.

Why is that the case? Isn’t having a fake degree tantamount to theft and shouldn’t the punishment for those who have such ‘credentials’ be the same as for those who commit theft of the conventional kind? It is our national shame that other than resignations we have yet to see anyone with a fake degree actually receive formal punishment.

Those who doubt my view should understand the logic, which is quite simple. Anybody who has a fake degree is in a position usurping resources which need to be allocated and utilised by someone who has actually earned the credentials and qualifications claimed. These people end up being elected to public office and this too means that they take up a position that could have gone to someone who deserved to be elected to it.

Apart from merely resigning their seat in parliament, those found guilty of possessing fake degrees need to be asked to reimburse to the state the salary and the monetary cost of the benefits they availed while holding public office under false pretence. Not only this, the institutions that granted them these fake degrees should be black-listed and prosecuted under the relevant law.

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COMMENTS (2)

afficer khan | 10 years ago | Reply write it down..this same jamshed dasti will be reelected to parliament and all the 341 members will congratulate him...shame on this democracy...
Azam Sultan Ahmed | 11 years ago | Reply Fake degrees: Importance of a Degree This is with reference to the article in your issue of April 12 by Salman Masood titled ‘Rewarding those with fake degrees’. It is a shame that in Pakistan people like Jamshed Dasti who had a fake degree and did not know the fundamentals of religion, was not only a member of the parliament, but also Chairman of the standing committee on sports that gave him the powers to call the Pakistan captain and criticize his on his performance. When the Supreme Court of Pakistan forced him to resign everyone citizen of this land was very happy that these kind of people will never occupy a seat in our parliament. But as days passed he has been once again been awarded a ticket even bypassing one of the most important person’s brother. The largest University in Karachi had put in an advert sometime back requesting people to collect their degrees. It is said that sixty percent degrees went uncollected and six thousand degrees were lying in the degree section of the University uncollected for the past forty three years. Is their any priority given to a degree in Pakistan when sixty percent people do not bother to collect their degrees? May the learned readers of the Express Tribune can share their views on this phenomenon? Then we have individuals who are highly qualified from foreign universities and probably one of the Universities in the fifty states of the US or elsewhere. A gentleman also got a doctorate from a US university and presented to our former President and nobody heard of that University, today he is an Advisor to the Prime Minister. But then their are highly qualified persons, who cannot write an application in plain English, and do not know the basics of their degree, but are considered literate enough to be included in one to two percent degree holders in this country. Further is it true that that knowledge and education is derived only from a degree or even from books and other vast resources of knowledge like the Internet available to us today. If our religion tells us to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave, then a degree forms only a small percentage of that knowledge. But God help us if we have people like Mr. Dasti at the helm of affairs with no basic knowledge but he stills manages to get back in the race for a national assembly seat. I look forward to reading comments from you learned readers on my observations. AZAM SULTAN AHMED
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