Pakistani legislators stuck in whirlpool over fake degrees scandal

22:09, July 22, 2010      

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Fake degrees scandal has put Pakistani parliamentarians and democratic institutions in a whirlpool, as the degrees of 43 legislators have been declared fake till Thursday in the recent process of verification.

Following the court orders Pakistan's Higher Education Commission (HEC) dispatched the academic certificates of 1,170 lawmakers, including those of 21 that graduated from religious schools and 36 foreign degree-holders, to their respective institutions and universities for verification and authentication during the last week of the June this year.

HEC sources revealed on Thursday that degrees of 43 parliamentarians have been found fake out of 248, whose verification reports have been received from the concerned universities.

"If the ratio goes like this, more than 200 candidates might loose their seats in the houses," official sources told Xinhua.

Over the degrees verification a hidden confrontation has been started among some institutions as some of them are reluctant to be decisive on the issue.

HEC was to submit the final report to the lower house standing committee on education by July 16 but the it has been delayed as some universities were allegedly playing delay tactics due to politicians' pressure.

The government of Pakistan constituted a law in 2002 under which only a person having university degree (14-year education) could participate in the elections. But after the elections in 2008 courts received many applications against elected parliamentarians to declare them disqualified for having fake degrees.

According to recent reports mostly bogus degree legislators belong to the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and currently ruling Party Pakistan People's Party (PPP).

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