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Fake degrees: Former lawmakers fall like ninepins

April 04, 2013

The former Pakistan People's Party (PPP) lawmaker had been elected from the Muzaffargarh NA-178 constituency in 2008, and later again on the same seat through by-elections.—File Photo

KARACHI: It was a troublesome day for several former lawmakers on Thursday as different courts brought their wrath upon those who had deceived the system by submitting fake educational certificates.

The most recent domino to fall in a list of former legislators was Jamshed Dasti who had contested and won on a Pakistan Peoples Party ticket in the 2008 general election.

A local court in Muzzafargarh sentenced the former MNA to three years in prison. Dasti was arrested from outside the courtroom following his sentencing.

District and Sessions Judge Abdur Rehman Niazi announced the verdict which also imposed a fine of Rs 5000 on the former lawmaker.

On Wednesday, shortly after the court had adjourned proceedings with the verdict expected to be announced today, Dasti told a press conference that he had decided against contesting for two National Assembly seats as an independent candidate.

The former lawmaker had been elected from the Muzaffargarh NA-178 constituency in 2008 and later returned from the same seat in a by-election.

He later resigned as member of the National Assembly in 2010 after the Supreme Court ordered him to present his graduation degree.

Earlier in the day, an Additional District and Sessions Judge, Sheibar Khan, sentenced former Awami National Party’s (ANP) lawmaker from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Syed Aqil Shah, to one year imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 3000 for holding a fake degree.

Shah was elected as an MPA from PK-4 constituency of Peshawar.

The former MPA was arrested by police personnel at the conclusion of the hearing.

Also on Thursday, a District and Sessions Judge in Pakpattan declared a former Member of National Assembly, Syed Salman Mohsin Gilani, of Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) a proclaimed offender over possessing a fake degree.

Gilani was elected as an MNA from NA-165 Pakpattan in the 2008 election.

Similarly, a District and Sessions Judge in Bahawalpur declared former lawmaker Amir Yar Waran, associated with the PPP as a proclaimed offender for possession of a fake degree. The court also ordered the freezing of his assets.  The local court had issued arrest warrants against the former lawmaker on Wednesday.

Moreover, a local court in Quetta reserved its ruling in a case pertaining to possession of fake degree against former provincial minister from Balochistan Mir Ali Madad Jattak.

Jattak of PPP was elected as a member of Balochistan Assembly’s PB-5 constituency.

In related news, the Cambridge University declared the A-Levels certificate submitted by former federal minister Shaikh Waqas Akram as fake on Thursday.

The former MNA had recently quit the Pakistan Muslim league – Quaid (PML-Q) along with 25 local leaders and joined PML-N this month. He was elected as an MNA during the 2008 election from NA-89 (Jhang-IV) constituency in Punjab.

The Intermediate Board Committee had conveyed the message in this regard to the Higher Education Commission (HEC).