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Waqas Akram turning to PPP

LAHORE, March 27: Former federal minister Sheikh Waqas Akram has contacted the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML_N), which he joined a week ago, is reluctant to award him of ticket for NA-89.

The PML-N has deferred his case because of fake degree charges against him.

Mr Akram, who quit the PML-Q and joined the PML-N a couple of days before the National Assembly completed its five-year term on March 16, is upset over the attitude of the PML-N leadership. He contacted a senior PPP leader discussing his conditions if he joined it.

A source in the PPP said Waqas was also not happy with the Sharifs for not even giving him an assurance to award ticket to his nominee in case of adverse court decision. His nominees are his younger brothers – Sheikh Nawaz and Sheikh Fawad. Nawaz Akram has reportedly been convicted by the Anti-Terrorism Court in an attempted murder case and is on bail these days.

The source said in such a scenario Mr Akram had limited options left with him. PML-N Senator Pervaiz Rashid told Dawn the parliamentary board had yet to shortlist candidates for constituencies in Punjab.

“We will decide to award ticket to Mr Waqas once the court gives verdict in the fake degree case,” he said, adding Mr Waqas had told the PML-N the Higher Education Commission (HEC) had turned against him for he had taken some measures for the betterment of the commission.

On a query by the HEC regarding ‘fake’ GCE A-Level Certificate of Sheikh Waqas, the Cambridge International Examinations has responded: “Having searched our record we are unable to match the number of his (Waqas) certificate with details supplied.” The HEC will present the record about his degrees in the court on April 12.

Petitioner Hafiz Khalid Mahmood had challenged the graduation and intermediate credentials of Mr Akram in 2010. He said Mr Akram had appeared in BA examination in 1997 without passing FA. The Government Islamia College, Kasur, administration also says that Waqas has never been a student of the college.

Sheikh Waqas was not available for comments.