Islamabad: 12 lawmakers with fake degrees summoned
ISLAMABAD: As reported by the Express Tribune on Thursday, gearing up efforts to finalise the issue of public representatives holding fake degrees, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has summoned one dozen lawmakers on October 11 to explain their position on their alleged dubious educational credentials.
It is the biggest number of MPs that have been summoned in one go by the commission. The ECP has also approached the Supreme Court to seek intervention against the government’s ‘defiance’ in not filling up vacant slots of its members.
Non completion of the commission is considered to be a major hurdle for the ECP in sending the cases of fake degree holders to the courts for a final decision.
The ECP had repeatedly written to the law ministry to complete the commission so that it can execute its functions smoothly. However, the government has not as yet addressed the request, as it was of the view that it was waiting for the outcome of the apex court’s decision on the 18th amendment case.
In the new procedure, the government has to appoint members through a 12-member parliamentary committee with equal members from the opposition and treasury benches – at least one third of them from the Senate.
Under the new mechanism, the government will forward three names against each member to the parliamentary committee, which will finalise one name that will be appointed as a member from each province.
Although the court has not fixed the case for hearing, constitutional experts have stated that there are three likely legal options: either the court directs the government to complete the commission within a specific time period; empowers the chief election commissioner to move ahead on its own on all important matters; or continue with the old procedure till the matter is finalised.
The ECP’s decision to summon 12 fake degree holders next Monday seemed to be the new strategy under which it had decided to complete its homework on the fake degrees within the next two months. The commission’s officials say that once the initial hearings are complete, the cases will be sent to the respective district and session judges.
Of the 12 asked to appear, the ECP is likely to finalise the cases of two MPs, MNA Nasir Ali Shah and MPA Kishwer Kumar from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, on Monday.
Others who have been summoned for Monday’s hearing include MNAs Hayat Ullah Khan Tareen, Ghulam Dastagir Rajan, Mir Ahmadan Khan and MPAs Muhammad Safdar Gill, Zulifiqar Ali, Sardar Meer Badshah Khan Qaisarani, Yar Muhammad, Rizwan Naurez Gill, Haji Nasir Mehmood and Shaukat Aziz Bhatti.