Around half of the Parliamentarians remained oblivious to the proceedings of Election Commission in fake degrees cases conducted on Monday under directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. It was one of the series of hearings being conducted by the Commission to provide an opportunity to MPs allegedly holding fake degrees as the process of preliminary hearing culminates on October 25, 2010. Hayatullah Khan Tareen (NA-155), Ghulam Dastgir Rajar (NA-235), Safdar Gill (PP-247), Mazhar Hayat (NA-138), Shumaila Rana (Reserved-Punjab), Seemal Kamran (Reserve-Balochistan) and Farah Deeba (Reserved-Punjab) did not turn up to present any evidence to support their documents despite repeated letters written to them. Remaining all who appeared before the Committee in person or through representatives sought more time to present the document with the members of the Committee allowing them a last opportunity. Balochistan Minister Muhammad Khan Toor personally appeared before the Committee and stated his BA degree was issued by a religious seminary. Both the Chairman of the Committee Afzal Khan and senior member Rahim Bux Channa cited referring to their knowledge that no seminary enjoyed degree awarding status. But Toor insisted that his degree was valid to which the members stated to further verification of the degree through the seminary and the Higher Education Commission. “According to my knowledge no seminary enjoys such a status. But, we can get the degree re-verified to your convenience,” observed Channa. Those appeared in person or through their representatives or lawyers include Ijaz Ahmed (PP-209), Samina Khawar Hayat (Reserved-Punjab), Afshan Farooq (Reserved-Punjab), Mir Badshah Khan Qaisrani (PP-240), Naseem Nasir Khawaja (Punjab-Reserved) and Saima Aziz (Reserved-Punjab). When a new lawyer appeared before the Committee on behalf of Samina Khawar and sought adjournment, the Committee members observed, “you should know time is running short. We have to report to the CEC. Delaying tactics will do no service to the accused.” “If there is any paper to defend them, please submit. What we are doing in under direction of Supreme Court and time span has been specified,” said Afzal Khan. In Afshan Farooq case the members said, the University record shows that she was not ever issued any degree only a result card was issued showing, she is fail in subject of English. The most interesting case was of Seemal Kamran whose degree shows that it was issued in 1991 for the examination she took in 1996 meaning that the degree was issued five years earlier to her taking the examination. “We are not a party. We are neutral. We are not against anyone but please give us an excuse to favor you, if you seek so,” said Afzal Khan. His observation was supplemented by Mr Channa, who said, under the HEC verification process, the Commission verifies a BA degree only after seeing the Matriculation and Intermediate degrees. “We verify hundreds of degrees daily and there is a laid down procedure. The comments on your degrees come from the universities and we are obeying what they have recorded.” The Committee is prepared and unclear in mind to conclude the process on October 25 after one mid-course hearing planned for October 21, 2010. After concluding the process, the report shall be presented to Chief Election Commissioner for further action as directed by the Supreme Court.
By: Ary News