The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday dismissed the circulating copy of a masters degree being associated with its director general for Lahore, Shahzad Saleem, as "fake", and released what it said was the real degree.
The veracity of Saleem's degree, issued by the now defunct Al-Khair University from Azad Kashmir, received renewed media attention this week after it was discussed during the NAB official's appearance on a late night TV show on Thursday.
The case was also set to be heard in the Supreme Court on Monday before the court delisted it, along with some other cases, today. Following the development, NAB stated that the copy of the degree being associated with Saleem was counterfeit.
It is pertinent to mention that the said transcript, issued in 2002, had reportedly featured Calibri font, which was not commercially available until five years later. However, the corruption watchdog's spokesperson today released the "original" copy of the transcript, which — he pointed out — features the Arial font.
The NAB spokesperson claimed that the transcript had already been verified in 2003 but was deliberately converted into Calibri font by "corrupt" elements to make the NAB official's credentials controversial.
Al-Khair University's degrees declared 'illegal' in KP
Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's education department has directed its district education officers to declare "degrees, certificates and diplomas" issued by the Al-Khair University as illegal.
In one of the subsequent orders issued by Peshawar district's education office, the said university's transcripts have been declared "illegal, unverified and unrecognised".
The notification, which cites a Peshawar High Court order, says that Al-Khair University's degrees will no longer be "valid for the purpose of seeking employment in any of the government departments".
Furthermore, the notification, dated November 7, states that the teachers who had secured their jobs on the basis of the said varsity's transcripts, should "get equivalent qualification from other recognised universities" within two years or else they will be "removed from service".