PTI's Ayla Malik ineligible to contest by-polls over fake degree

Published July 29, 2013
Ayla Malik stands next to PTI chief Imran Khan as he makes a speech during a rally in February. — Photo courtesy Twitter
Ayla Malik stands next to PTI chief Imran Khan as he makes a speech during a rally in February. — Photo courtesy Twitter

ISLAMABAD: A two-member Election Tribunal of the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench on Monday declared Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) leader Ayla Malik ineligible to contest by-elections on the grounds that her intermediate degree was fake.

Ayla, who is a niece of former President Farooq Leghari, was scheduled to contest by-elections on NA-71 Mianwali, the seat won by PTI chief Imran Khan who vacated it in order to keep his Rawalpindi seat.

A two-member election tribunal comprising Justice Mamoon Rashid and Justice Ayesha Malik upheld the plea of Ayla’s political opponent Obaidullah Shadikhel, who had challenged her FA degree.

Last week, the Rawalpindi Education Board and the Election Commission of Pakistan had filed written statements before the tribunal declaring that no record of Ayla’s degree was found. The tribunal had reserved the ruling for Monday.

Ayla Malik comes from a long line of politicians. Besides her relation to the former president, she is the granddaughter of Nawab Malik Amir Muhammad Khan, otherwise known as the Nawab of Kalabagh. Her sister, Sumaira Malik, is an MNA for the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N). Earlier, Ayla served as an MNA on a reserved seat from 2002-2007.

The issue of fake degrees took centre stage in Pakistani politics in recent months, after the superior courts took up several petitions against the dubious credential of parliamentarians and election candidates.

In April this year, the ECP penalised three senators, five Punjab Assembly MPAs, two Sindh MPAs and one Balochistan MPA for holding fake degrees. Earlier last week, the Supreme Court disqualified a Pakistan Muslim League - Quaid (PML-Q) lawmaker from Punjab Assembly, Samina Khawar Hayat, for holding a fake degree.

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