Muttahida Qaumi Movement Chief Altaf Hussain is the only exception amongst the PPP-led coalition parties to have distanced himself from the government’s policy of protecting the fake degree holders in parliament, writes Ansar Abbasi.

Though not publicly known, the MQM Chief Altaf Hussain recently even talked to the sister of Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Prof Javed Leghari and sympathised with her over the arrest of her younger brother Farooq Leghari by the Sindh government.

Sources said that Altaf Hussain while talking to the Legharis’ sister condemned the provincial government’s arm-twisting tactics to bar the elder Leghari from continuing the verification of the parliamentarians’ degrees. These sources said that Altaf, whose party is in coalition with the PPP even in the Sindh government, appreciated the role of the HEC chairman and insisted that the fake degree holders should not be protected, instead exposed and disqualified.

After its commendable stance on the issue of NRO, the MQM is now again talking of principles and high moral grounds in the case of fake degree holders. After publicly denouncing the fake degree holders in the Parliament, it was extra-ordinary on the part of the MQM’s party chief to personally contact the family of the HEC chairman during their testing times and at a time when the government to which the MQM is an important part, was blamed of maltreating the Legharis’ family.

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Besides arresting Farooq Leghari, a BS-19 officer of the Sindh government, the provincial authorities conducted raids at the Hyderabad farmhouse of the family and arrested several of their servants. The CEC chairman, however, remained undeterred in face of all such pressures from the government.

Although he faced tough time from the PPP government and was also asked to resign, Prof Javed Leghari got a lot of support from the media, civil society and from certain political parties. The MQM remains the only political party in the government’s coalition to have supported the HEC work, however, the PML-N has been the major opposition voice to have put its weight behind Javed Leghari.

The PML-N Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif, who too is a staunch opponent of the fake degree holders despite many of his party leaders supporting such fraudsters, has also condemned the government’s maltreatment of the family of the HEC chairman. Nawaz Sharif also demanded of the government not to create impediments in the working of the HEC so that the fake degree holders might be identified and proceeded against.

It is, however, ironic to note that the PPP has emerged as the greatest supporter and defender of the fake degree holders despite the fact that most of the already declared or identified fake degree holder parliamentarians belong to the PML-N. The PPP has not only been giving party tickets to the fake degree holders in the bye-elections but it takes pride that some of these fake degree holders have been re-elected by the people. In order to justify the fake degree holders, once even the president referred to the qualification of the father of the nation and said that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was too a non-graduate. However, the history is witness to the fact that Jinnah was a graduate of prestigious Lincoln’s Inn.


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