29 down, 511 safe, says HEC
Islamabad, July 14: After weeks-long scrutiny, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) announced on Tuesday that at least 29 of the 511 lawmakers whose record had been checked so far had lied about their academic qualifications.
However, the HEC did not name the legislators whose educational documents were found to be fake or forged. The commission said it wanted to be doubly sure before releasing the names of any wrongdoers.
The National Assembly's Standing Committee on Education, headed by Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali of Pakistan Muslim League-N, had tasked the commission with verifying the educational qualifications of 1,170 members of the Senate and National and provincial assemblies, copies of whose educational testimonials were subsequently sent to it for verification.
Some 936 of these copies were found to be legible, whose scrutiny was undertaken by the commission. (The lawmakers whose degree copies were not legible have since been asked to submit legible copies.)
"So far the commission has received verification reports on the degrees of 511 lawmakers, belonging to 29 universities. Of this number, academic certificates of 29 lawmakers have turned out to be false," the commission's adviser on quality assurance and learning innovation, Dr Syed Mahmood Raza, said on Tuesday, the day by which the verification process was supposed to be completed.
Dr Raza, who heads the three-member committee supervising the scrutiny work, said in all 36 degree-awarding institutions were involved in the process. "We hope the seven institutions that are yet to send us reports will do so soon," he added.
"By the 16th of July the HEC will have the outcome of the entire exercise. After that a formal announcement will be made."
Dr Raza said that among the major institutions that were yet to submit their reports were University of Punjab, University of Balochistan, Allama Iqbal Open University, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai University and University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar.
When repeatedly asked about the names of the 29 legislators who had lied about their educational qualifications, Dr Raza said the issue was a sensitive one and extra care was being taken before releasing the names of legislators who had indulged in wrongdoing.
He said the scrutiny work was being carried out for a second time for all lawmakers.
Dr Raza denied that the HEC was under pressure from the government over the matter. DawnYour Comments
HEC facing difficulty in identifying fake degree holders
Lahore: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) is facing a difficulty in identifying the fake degree holders sitting in parliament and the provincial assemblies even after sending the degrees for verification to different universities across the country, learnt on Tuesday.
According to sources in the HEC, the institution is struggling hard to identify the forged documents because of the tampering carried out by the fake degree holders, adding that the HEC is now planning to seek help from the government.
The HEC is facing complications in this regard due to similar names written in the universities' records, and the varsities have no method of distinguishing one from the other.
Sources from the HEC said that there are a number of parliamentarians who purchased degrees or tampered university records with the help of "corrupt officials" in the varsity's "secrecy branch". They further said that these parliamentarians, with the help of the corrupt officials, bargained with the real degree holders and obtained ownership of the degrees, adding that in some cases they even tampered with the university records, making it almost "impossible" for the HEC now to identify the fake degree holders.
According to the sources, there have been a number of cases where corruption due to similarity in names was revealed, but it was done only and when the opponent candidates identified and complained against the fake degree holders, while the HEC has no proper procedure to identify the fake degree holders.
Matriculation and Intermediate: They said that such fake degree holders could possibly not be identified without the verification of their matriculation and Intermediate certificates as well, adding that the HEC was now weighing the option of checking these certificates of the parliamentarians.
PU Controller of Examinations Zahid Karim Khan said that he had highlighted this issue of 'similar names' in the very beginning.
Verification report: Separately, the PU sent a verification report of about 217 degrees of parliamentarians to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Tuesday, out of which six degrees have been declared bogus.
Khan said that 11 degrees of senators, 55 degrees of MNAs and 15 degrees of MNAs – elected against reserved seats have been found genuine. Similarly, 97 degrees of directly elected Punjab Assembly members and 28 degrees of MPAs elected against reserved seats have been found genuine while degrees of five MPAs elected against reserved seats have been declared bogus.
Four degrees of MPAs belonging to the Khyber Pakhtunkha Assembly were found authentic, whereas one degree of an MPA of the KP Assembly has been declared fake.
Zahid Karim said that the varsity has returned the photocopies of eight parliamentarians' degrees to the HEC, owing to their vagueness and illegibility.
He said that out of the 313 degrees sent to the PU by the HEC, only 89 degrees remain to be verified. The verification report regarding these remaining degrees will be sent to the HEC as soon as possible, he added.
A spokesman from the PU said that the entire record relating to the 313 degrees is available with the PU Examinations Branch. However, the number of degrees of parliamentarians supplied to the PU is far greater than the degrees sent to the other universities across the country. In addition, the verification of parliamentarians' degrees is a highly sensitive and responsible assignment.
Therefore, the special committee constituted by PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, is minutely scrutinising the record of these degrees to confirm their authenticity. He said that the vice chancellor has appreciated the hard work put in by the committee members in order to verify the degrees for authenticity. Daily times
HEC Chairman's brother sent on judicial remand
Hyderabad: Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Tuesday presented DCO Tando Allahyar Farooq Leghari, brother of Chairman HEC Javaid Leghari, in the court and obtained a four-day judicial remand on the charges of corruption and embezzlement.
ACE Chairman Mushtaq Shah said Farooq Leghari was accused of corruption involving Rs 300 million during his tenure as DCO Tando Allahyar.
Earlier, electronic media obtained a clarification from the ACE that Leghari had not been arrested, but interestingly, the ACE presented him before the court over the corruption charges.
The corruption charges against Farooq Leghari are levelled at a time, when his elder brother, HEC chairman, is going to announce the names of fake degree holders sitting in the assemblies while HEC is under severe pressure from the federal and provincial govts and several sitting MPs to stop the ongoing exercise of degrees verification.
According to a private TV channel, no permission has been sought from the chief secretary Sindh for Leghari's arrest, which is mandatory for detaining a Grade-19 officer. However, an FIR against has been filed after his detention, as ACE disclosed his detention Monday.
On the other hand, HEC Chairman Javaid Leghari said his brother was awaiting the posting orders these days. The nation
Doctors fake degrees score reaches 38
Islamabad: After finding degrees of 31 'doctors' and 'dentists' to be fake during verification over last one month, the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has tracked down seven more individuals, including a woman, practising medicine in the country with fake or forged registration certificates. Ironically, some of them are serving in government-run health facilities.
Having struck names of these fake or forged degree-holders off the list of registered medical practitioners, the council has recommended strict action, which may be fine, imprisonment or both under the PMDC Ordinance 1962, by the executive district officers concerned against them.
Since its foundation in 1962, the PMDC has a proper department where those wanting to practice medicine and dentistry in the country submit their degrees and certificates for verification. Once the degrees are verified, the council formally allows doctors and dentists to practice.
In September 2009, the PMDC moved beyond its role of verifying degrees on receipt. In a bid to ensure lawful practice of medicine and dentistry, it wrote to the heads of the country's all public and private healthcare facilities to send copies of the degrees and PMDC registration certificates of the doctors and dentists working under them for free verification.
A special 'Central Verification Unit' was also put in place to check genuineness of the medical and dental practitioners' credentials submitted. And as the degrees and registration certificates began coming in though very late, the unit got functional and commenced scrutiny of the documents received.
In the process, the unit found many degrees and PMDC registration certificates to be fake or forged, prompting cancellation of their holders' registration.
On April 23, names of five fake doctors including Qamar Elahi (Punjab), Ashraf Javed (Punjab), Muhammad Sikandar Hayat (Punjab), Kareem Bukhsh (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) and Muhammad Aslam (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) were removed from the PMDC register, while on June 7, registration of 26 more individuals was cancelled for their being in possession of foreign medical and dental degrees, mostly from Kyrgyzstan. Among these were Syed Kamal Raza (fake MD degree from Russia), Noman Gul (fake MD degree from Kyrgyz Republic), Nusrat Fatima (fake MD degree from Kyrgyz Republic), Jahanzeb (fake MD degree from Afghanistan), Navid Ahmad (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Shanul Haq (fake MD degree from Philippines), Adnan Aurangzeb (fake MD degree from Kazakhstan), Gul Nawaz Khan (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Mumtaz Shaukat (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Farooq Saleem Khan (without certificates), Sajad Ahmad (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Jamshed Sikandar (fake degree of sub course of medicine from Osh State University), Robina Anwar Shah (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Omar Jalal (fake MD degree from Russia), Faisal Shah (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Iftikhar Ahmad (fake MD degree from Kyrgyz Republic), Muhammad Zubair (fake MD degree from Afghanistan), Abdullah (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Muhammad Ishtiaq Saburi (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Noor Muhammad Khan (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Islam Khan (fake MD degree from Afghanistan), Shagufta Ambreen (fake MD degree from Kyrgyz Republic), Saghir Almas (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Rehan Israr (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan), Muhammad Awais (fake MD degree from Kyrgyzstan) and Muhammad Imran Aslam (fake MD degree from Kyrgyz Republic).
There followed a request by the council to Federal Investigation Agency for investigation against these fake doctors and dentists, who claimed to have obtained degrees between 2000 and 2006.
And now during the verification of the degrees sent in by the government's health facilities and EDOs, the PMDC has found seven individuals practising medicine at private and government facilities while using either fake registration certificates or those issued to legal medical practitioners.
Documents available with this scribe show that the PMDC registration certificates of the following individuals are fake or forged: Nasir Mahmood s/o Muhammad Siddique of Wazirabad (Gujrat) (No 18586-S) currently working in Narowal; Iqtidar Hussain s/o Imdad Hussain of Orangi Town, Karachi (No 17603-S) currently working at a private hospital; Bibi Hajira d/o Bahader Sher of Bagh-e-Aram, Mardan (7642-N) currently working at People's Primary Health Care Initiative's District Support Unit Mardan; Zulqarnain Jahangir s/o Muhammad Jahanagir Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Rahim Yar Khan, (No 52346-P) currently working at Sheikh Zayed Hospital, Rahim Yar Khan; Anjum Zia s/o Ziuddin Warraich of Golarchi, Badin, (No 68979-5) currently running a private clinic in Golarchi, and Aamir Ali Siddiqui (No 34487-S) and Tariq Zaheer (No 28944-S) both working at Punjab Rural Support Programme's District Support Unit, Pakpattan Sharif. The council has asked the EDOs concerned for appropriate legal action against the fake doctors identified.
Besides these cases, 42 doctors and dentists with suspicious degrees and registration certificates have also been found out. They have been asked by the council to re-submit attested copies of their documents along with two pictures for verification.
Registration numbers of the said doctors and dentists, whose names are not available, are 14927-N, 15575-N, 15661-N, 15724-N, 15751-N, 15865-N, 15868-N, 15918-N, 15940-N, 15948-N, 15988-N, 15387-N, 15412-N, 15422-N, 15438-N, 15440-N, 15441-N, 15445-N, 15446-N, 15447-N, 15448-N, 15449-N, 15452-N, 15560-N, 15491-N, 15493-N, 9033-D, 13075-N, 13115-N, 13125-N, 13144-N, 13357-N, 13432-N, 13451-N, 13456-N, 13476-N, 12095-N, 12287-N, 12310-N, 12332-N, 12332-N and 52003-P.
It is also learnt that the PMDC has developed an online degree registration system, which, according to an official, will help people know if doctors or dentists they consult are genuine and licensed and thus, checking quackery.
Khairpur varsity officials summoned over fake degree issue
Sukkur: The Sindh High Court, Bench Sukkur, has summoned vice-chancellor, controller, inspector of colleges and registrar of the Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, on July 22 in a fake degree petition. Court sources said that Mir Khan Mahar in the High Court Bench at Sukkur filed a petition against PPP MPA Jam Ikramullah Dharejo, in which he maintained that Dharejo had acquired a fake Sunnad-ul-Firaq degree from a Madrassa and later the Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, issued an equivalence to graduation (BA) degree in his favour. Sources said the university officials had been summoned with the testimonial copies with signature of the vice-chancellor. The news