Allegations against Axact: I have concrete proof to back my claims, says Walsh

Published: May 21, 2015
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PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPERSS

PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPERSS

The New York Times reporter Declan Walsh, who broke the story on Axact’s fake degree empire, has said that he has concrete evidence for the claims made in his report and expressed confidence that he would be able to defend them in any court.

“I have talked to many former employees who have worked with that company [Axact], one of whom is mentioned in my article,” the journalist said in an interview with BBC Urdu on Wednesday. “We have many other documents as well, which we will submit in court if called upon… and with the FIA conducting raids at [Axact’s] offices, more evidence is coming to light,” he added.

Asked about his sources, Walsh said it was a standard journalistic practice to hide sources’ identities, especially when their life, property and livelihood are at risk. “Former Axact employees living in Karachi are facing the same problem,” he said. “They are required to sign an undertaking, stating that they won’t reveal their employment with Axact at any point.”

Regarding conspiracy theories about his report, Walsh said: “I was working on this particular story for the last two years. Obviously, all the rival media groups are using this story to their advantage but we have no connection to this.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2015.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Josh
    May 21, 2015 - 9:22AM

    One person quoted as former employee has also come on in Gulf News and fully backed the claims by the original NYT. It may be highly circumstantial but it doesn’t look like Axact has much of a leg to stand on in defense other than bringing out the usual lines of “conspiracy”, “maligning” etc…..Recommend

  • Shoaib Sheikh, CEO
    May 21, 2015 - 10:40AM

    This is axactly the thing I was worried about !!Recommend

  • Javaid
    May 21, 2015 - 10:59AM

    Thank you for exposing the corrupt in this nation Mr Walsh.Recommend

  • Ayesha
    May 21, 2015 - 11:12AM

    Why is the CEO worried? Guilty conscience?Recommend

  • Ozair
    May 21, 2015 - 11:35AM

    having visited their office on at least 3 occasions in the past 7 years or so; how come NO ONE to date has yet published the following observations:-

    One could not even walk through the street on which their office was located. The guards would immediately ask questions and force you to buzz off either you were on foot or in your vehicle.

    Inside, an atmosphere of strict secrecy and strange protocols where you were always monitored. Talking to the staff one got the same feeling.

    I bet that such overwhelming security does not exist in a nuclear facility to say the least.

    The individual bringing tea for us was dressed in an expensive navy blue suit and was around 22 years of age. Such luxury is not even seen in a multinational company’s office.

    The entire atmosphere never seemed logical or right.

    Did the folks who worked there did not think once that the perks they were enjoying are way over their league.

    Not to mention hundreds of brand new vehicles in mint condition for the bulk of the staff working there.

    These folks knew what they were doing and what they were into and simply sold their “Zamirs” in return for their unnaturally high salaries and privileges.

    Now, Mr. Kamran Khan; reporter extraordinaire. Sir I am absolutely disappointed by your lack of judgement. What were you thinking sir? Who would believe that you did not know?
    No one!

    Our nations biggest problem is not the politics or corruption or education or health.

    Our core problem is that we sell ourselves for a piasa or two on an ongoing basis. Our immortal souls are in grave danger when we simply can no longer distinguish between right and wrong. These two thousand souls collectively knew of what they were involved in. Yet they chose to go on living a life of deceit and lies and enjoy.

    Shame on us all!Recommend

  • sufia.zamir
    May 21, 2015 - 12:49PM

    Ozair I live across the street from Axact, i have observed that many times – my mom would always stand there and actually fight with the guards, sarak aap ki nahi hai, DHA ki sarak hai jis ka main ne tax bhara hai therefore i have full right over it – because that was the road we used to use to come and go everyday and it had become very problematic for us – she actually did involve the DHA once, we finally acquired authorization from the DHA that Axact officials could not stop us from DHA property (i;e. the lane in front of their office). Whatever was Axacts property, i.e the parking lot, obviously that was understandable, but the roads are public property.

    I did work in Axact as well – I could walk to work, I just had to cross the road, but they insisted I get a bus – in fact the bus ride was longer. When I sat in the bus, I realized why: they wanted to monitor me. I never managed to prove it but I always had the feeling there were mics around to record what I said..this was the time before the extension they made, and there was literally not a single window in the office. Employees were not encouraged to interact with each other, I literally had no idea what the girl sitting next to me was doing. I took it for a month then I ran off.Recommend

  • Abdullah
    May 21, 2015 - 1:17PM

    If he has the proofs, then why hasn’t he revealed in his report? This is same as in Pakistan anchors say that we will let you know on the right time. ET why don’t you expose the corruptions in Pakistan? Internal corruption is the first thing we must solve and highlight.Recommend

  • Nawab khattak
    May 21, 2015 - 2:52PM

    Declan Walsh is a thorough professional,he has done a master piece. I know that he will never publish anything fabricated. Well done Walsh!!!Recommend

  • Hassan
    May 21, 2015 - 2:52PM

    @ Abdullah. What more do you need by way of proof if you have read the article….? The proof includes quotes from sources (employees and victims), names and more details of whistleblower, names of websites run by this company, pictures of fake people – identified subsequently as fake.Recommend

  • Yolo
    May 21, 2015 - 4:36PM

    @sufia.zamir:
    Hi Sufia – we need voices like yours to come forward. Why don’t you write a blog about it – get anyone else you know (current or ex employees) to speak up. Now is the time. because the CEO, Sohaib Sheikh thinks he’s innocent – destryoing people’s lives stealing their money and giving fake degrees, claiming all that he does is provide a “plate-form” (cant even pronounce the word PLATFORM properly), as seen on the interviews with Kashif Abbasi and Moeed Pirzada. WE NEED YOU TO SPEAK UP, PLEASE else he’ll go scot free, and fool another million, if not with fake degrees, then with some otehr scam.Recommend

  • sufia.zamir
    May 21, 2015 - 5:21PM

    @Yolo, dude I tried. I contacted some scam review websites based in the States when I left in 2010. Submitted proof there, of which one or two even got published. I wrote a blog in ET as well. ET didnt publish my blog, didn’t cite a reason. Axact slapped a legal notice on me for defamation, and honestly I cant compete with them in terms of either money or legal muscle, so I stopped.Recommend

  • Salman
    May 22, 2015 - 2:13AM

    Did the media channels / Pak Govt. took actions on bbc documentaries/NYT reports regarding our politicians/army…??? In this case the fear of BOL has given them AXACT fobia…Recommend

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