GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Court on Friday gave Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan, who finally appeared before the three-member bench, until June 13 to file his reply to a petition seeking his disqualification for allegedly submitting a fake degree.

Ghulam Shahzad Agha, a member of GB Assembly from PPP, has challenged CM Khan’s law degree and sought his disqualification under Article 62 and 63 of the constitution of Pakistan.

On May 29, Chief Judge Ali Baig had constituted the larger bench comprising judges Malik Anayatur Rehman, Johar Ali, and Mohammad Mushtaq with instructions to conduct day-to-day hearing and conclude the case within 14 days.

The petitioner through his counsel Amjad Hussain contended that the degree submitted by the CM has not been verified by University of London and the Higher Education Commission had declared it to be fake.

The court had issued notices to the HEC, the chief minister, GB Bar Council and Election Commission to submit their replies on the issue.

The CM failed to appear before the court during the last hearing on June 7. On Thursday, the court issued a notice to the CM, warning him that a decision would be taken if he did not appear on Friday.

The HEC told the court that it has withdrawn the equivalence of LLB degree, issued to Khalid Khurshid, after the UoL declared his degree to be fake. CM Khan requested the court on Friday to delay the case for a week so that he could hire a lawyer, who is expert in such matters. The court adjourned the case till June 13.

Judge Anayatur Reh­man said the case would not be delayed further and directed the CM to come with his reply on the next hearing.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Hussain said Khurshid Khan had obtained the licence from the GB Bar Council on the basis of a fake degree. He alleged that the CM committed another mistake by taking the equivalence certificate from the HEC.

Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2023

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