ISLAMABAD, March 9: As many as 199 have yet to submit their degrees to Higher Education Commission (HEC) for verification, though the Supreme Court had given a verdict in this regard on June 14, 2010.

The apex court had ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that degrees of all parliamentarians should be verified.

Those who yet to submit their degrees include Federal Minister Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah, Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Amir Muqam, Yasmeen Rehman, Bushra Gohar and Mian Abdul Haq alias Mian Mitho.

Besides, fake degree cases against 19 parliamentarians, which include Federal Minster for Education and Training Sheikh Waqas Akram, Senior Provincial Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Rahimdad Khan, MNA from Balochistan Yaqoob Bizenjo, Farooq Yousuf Ghurki are in different courts.

An officer of ECP requesting not to be identified said after getting instructions from the Supreme Court, letters were sent to all the parliamentarians asking them to submit their degrees for verification but even after two and half years 199 legislators did not bother to submit their degrees to the HEC,” he said.

“On the other hand, vice-chancellor of Gomal University, Prof Dr Mansoor Akbar Kundi was sacked because he refused to verify the degree of Rahimdad Khan and termed it fake. Later, Prof Kundi obtained stay order by the Islamabad High Court,” he said.

An official of the ECP said that in February this year, they again sent letters to politicians who had not submitted their degrees and gave them 15 days deadline, after that criminal proceeding would be initiated against them under the law.

This created unrest among the defaulting parliamentarians and leader of the opposition protested against the ECP move, he said.

The official maintained that a parliamentary committee headed by Farooq Hamid Naek was established to look into the matter. “Members of the committee met the Chief Election Commissioner on February 28 and criminal proceedings could not be started against them,” he said. — Ikram Junaidi

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