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Degrees of parliamentarians to be checked.

Directive follows complaints about lawmakers using fake documents to gain access to national political bodies

Dubai Educational degrees of all parliamentarians in Pakistan will be verified after complaints that many of the existing lawmakers used fake documents to make their way to the corridors of power in Pakistan.

oWe are going to verify educational degrees of all the parliamentarians across the board regardless of their political affiliations,o said Abid Sher Ali, Chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education.

He told Gulf News during a visit to Dubai that he would recommend disqualification of all those parliamentarians whose degrees are found to be fake and also recommend the court to take legal action against them.

Cruel joke

He said the presence of fake degree holders in parliament is not less than a cruel joke with the Constitution and the people of this country as well. oWe will take unprecedented steps for cleansing parliament in the larger interest of the country,o said Ali, whose own party, the PML-N has some members with fake degrees. oWe will not discriminate as our leader Nawaz Sharif has already warned the PML-N parliamentarians to tender resignations if they hold fake degrees,o he added.

On AliAEs directions, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday handed over degrees of 840 parliamentarians out of 1,170 to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education for their verification from the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

The remaining 330 degrees will be submitted to the committee as soon as the returning officers provide them, the ECP assured the committee. The HEC will complete the verification of the degrees within four months and submit its report to the committee, led by Ali. It is believed that large number of parliamentarians made their ways to the parliament using fake graduation degrees.

Former President Pervez Musharraf had imposed the condition of having a bachelorAEs degree for anyone who wished to contest parliamentary elections for the 2002 general elections.

Although the pre-requisite of possessing a graduation degree for contesting polls was struck down last year, it existed at the time of the February 2008 general elections.

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Search for truth

Abid Sher Ali (centre) during a visit to Dubai told Gulf News that he would recommend disqualification and legal action against parliamentarians found to have fake degrees.

investigation

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:May 30, 2010
Words:405
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