PAKISTAN: Degrees of 228 lawmakers to be verified

Pakistan's Election Commission has sent the degrees of 228 lawmakers to the national assembly's standing committee on education, for their onward transmission to the Higher Education Commission for verification, Dawn learned last Monday, reports Iftikhar A Khan.

The Election Commission sent the degrees of 872 lawmakers to the committee on 24 May.

The national assembly panel headed by Abid Sher Ali ordered the unusual step after a number of lawmakers were found to be holding fake degrees, with reports suggesting that up to 150 of them could be involved. The committee has decided to get the degrees of all lawmakers verified.
Full report on the Dawn site

Usman Manzoor writes for The News that a Pandora's box has been opened after two members of the national assembly, Jamshed Dasti and Nazir Jatt, resigned after their degrees were found to be fake in a Supreme Court case. Many more elected representatives fear they may also be in trouble. Questions are already being raised about the future of other dubious degree holders and on top of the list is Pakistan president, who holds a degree in economics and business administration from Pedinton School in London.
Full report on The News site

The News also reports that the Higher Education Commission will complete the scrutiny of MPs' degrees by the end of this month. Many MPs are said to have obtained fake degrees to contest the February 2008 polls, for which graduation was the minimum qualification. At least 297 of 1,170 legislators at the Centre and in the provinces have not yet submitted their educational qualification documents to the commission. Intriguingly, the majority of senators - 53 - have failed to supply qualification documents to the commission through the Election Commission of Pakistan. The commission has forbidden the entry of any 'irrelevant' people to its premises, including legislators with allegedly dubious credentials.
Full report on The News site