Over 100 MPs in Pakistan may have fake degrees

Afzal Khan
Filed on October 16, 2013

As many as 100-plus lawmakers from different political parties have suspected education credentials.

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has received over 100 allegedly fake degrees for verification belonging to legislators from the National Assembly as well as the provincial assemblies.

These degrees either have been challenged in tribunals or have been referred to the HEC by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) after the May 11 elections.

Former military ruler Gen. Musharraf had imposed the degree restriction for contesting election in 2002 and 2008 polls which was declared void by Dogar court in July 2008 ahead of presidential election enabling former president Asif Ali Zardari to contest in September 2008.

However, the lawmakers found guilty of making false claim are disqualified by courts under article 62 of the constitution.

“We received 107 cases of fake or dubious degrees since the polls. Of these, 25 cases are still being processed, while the verification of some has been completed,” confirmed HEC spokesperson Aayesha Ikram.

The remaining 82 cases will be taken up as the quarters concerned approach the HEC, she said, adding that some older cases, registered before May 11, were being investigated.

Official figures revealed that around 50 MNAs and MPAs with alleged dubious or fake degrees belong to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). It is followed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the party ruling in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, which has degrees of 24 of its MPAs and MNAs being challenged in courts.

Meanwhile, dozens of MPAs and MNAs belonging to the Pakistan People’s Party might also get the axe if fake-degree cases against them in court are proven.

The veracity of educational degrees of four other lawmakers of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUP-F) has also been challenged. Names of two independent candidates are also included in the list along with a few others belonging to other political parties.

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