ISLAMABAD: The Axact scandal also echoed in the Supreme Court on Friday when Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of the scandal revolving around fake professional degrees of non-existent colleges and universities and asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director general to submit within 10 days a comprehensive report in this regard.

The chief justice, while hearing a different case, warned that no one involved in giving bad name to the country would get off scot-free. He asked the court office to fix the matter for hearing.

“Our heads have hung in shame because of the scandal,” the chief justice deplored and ordered the FIA director general to arrest the culprits involved in the scandal.

Apparently a BBC investigative story on the scam which has appeared in the local media caught the attention of the chief justice. The report revealed that the lucrative fake degrees business was still flourishing with the Axact call centres humming with activity and its agents ruthlessly fleecing their victims impersonating as representatives of famous universities and selling them fake degrees on payment of huge fees.

“If the reports about the issuance of fake degrees are true then it should be halted and if the stories about the scam are all lies then Pakistan should defend itself,” the chief justice observed.

“Pakistan has been defamed the world over because of this scandal,” the chief justice regretted and recalled that the scam had surfaced earlier too and even some cases were also pending in courts.

The BBC report quoted Allen Ezell, a former FBI agent and author of the book Degree Mills, as calling for a global initiative and world-wide crackdown on the companies involved in such a heinous crime.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2018