Degrees of seven lawmakers found fake, says HEC
Islamabad, Oct 01: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has found seven more lawmakers to be holding invalid degrees. The fresh list handed over to the Election Commission on Thursday includes names of four members of the National Assembly, two of the Sindh Assembly and one of the Punjab Assembly.
Those in the new list include MNAs Muhammad Riaz (NA-118), Mian Javed Latif (NA-133), Syed Amir Ali Shah (NA-221), Dewan Syed Ashaq Bukhari (NA-153), Punjab Assembly member Iftikhar Ahmed Khan (PP-81) and two Sindh Assembly members elected on reserved seats for minorities - Pitambiar Sewani and Mukesh Kumar.
HEARING: The fifth hearing of fake/invalid degrees of six MNAs and MPAs was held on Thursday by Muhammad Afzal Khan, the Nominated Officer of Election Commission.
Of the four members summoned to appear, two turned up while the others remained absent. Former federal minister Yar Muhammad, who is now the only opposition member in the 65-member Balochistan Assembly, and Mir Ahmeddan Khan, an MNA from NA-265, did not appear. The committee decided to re-issue them notices for Oct 11.
Advocate Shakeel Ahmed appeared on behalf of Shama Parveen Magsi (PB-Reserved Seat) and stated that his client is abroad and will be back after three weeks. The next date will be fixed later.
Mr Kashif Hussain, the representative of Shaukat Aziz (PP-4), told the committee the MPA was busy in flood relief activities and, therefore, his case may be adjourned. The committee fixed Oct 11 for the next hearing. DawnYour Comments
Fake degrees issue may soon land in SC
Islamabad: After failing to get Parliament's support and finding the government non-serious to cleanse the august elected Houses from fake degree holders, the Chairman, NA Committee on Education, is considering to knock the doors of the Supreme Court.
On the other side, the equally frustrated Higher Education Commission, whose repeated calls to the legislators for submission of required record have been frustrated by the indifferent MPs, is also considering to refer all such cases to the Election Commission of Pakistan.
Things regarding the parliamentarians, holding fake degrees, have slowed down to an extent where there is hardly seen any progress, and it seems as if the authorities despite clear-cut decision of the apex court would allow such fraudsters to complete their term.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan had directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to proceed against such fake degree holders without any unnecessary delay, but the ECP has yet to proceed against even a single MP, whose fake or invalid degree has already been confirmed by the authority concerned-the HEC.
In view of this situation, the Chairman, NA Committee on Education, Abid Sher Ali, is considering to approach the Supreme Court to push the authorities for early implementation of the apex court's decision besides bringing pressure on the defiant parliamentarians to make them submit their degrees and certificates.
Abid Sher Ali said that he has already started consultation process to file a petition before the Supreme Court. "If the things do move in a week time, I will formally approach the Supreme Court," he said, adding that he is not satisfied with the pace with which the Election Commission is proceeding with these cases.
The NA Committee chairman said that despite pressure from parliamentarians and even threats that he is receiving from some of the MPs, he would not deter from pursuing the objective of cleansing Parliament from fake degree holders. Abid Sher Ali said that he has been conveyed a life threat allegedly from an MP from Balochistan, whose degree is considered fake.
In its order, the SC said that if it is not incumbent upon the Election Commission, in discharge of its constitutional obligations to guard against corrupt practices, to launch prosecution of persons who stood accused of the commission of the same. Needless to say that punishment and consequent disqualification of such-like persons would not be an act under-mining the dignity and the majesty of the Houses of Legislature but an act in aid of enhancing the same.
The court directed the Election Commission to initiate action against all such persons who are accused of commission of corrupt practices; of committing forgery and of using, as genuine, documents which they knew or at least had reason to believe to be forged.
"The Election Commission shall ensure that the investigations in these matters are conducted honestly, efficiently and expeditiously and shall depute one of its senior officers to supervise the same," said the order, which was issued on June 14, but despite the lapse of over three month not even a single MP holding fake degree have been proceeded against.
The HEC has already declared 57 MPs possessing fake or invalid degrees and sent their names to the ECP for action. However, cases of 443 MPs are still pending as they are not submitting their educational certificates despite repeated reminders. These cases, it is expected, would be referred to the ECP next week with the request by the HEC that the ECP should obtain the required degrees and certificates from the concerned MPs for verification by the HEC.
PEEF approves 50 scholarships for deserving students
Islamabad: The Executive Committee of the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF) has approved allocation of 50 scholarships each for talented and deserving students wishing to pursue Associate Degree in Education (AED) from GCET Faisalabad and GCET Dera Ghazi Khan.
This scholarship quota for Pre-STEP Lahore for the year 2010-11 has been approved in the wake of a request for joint collaboration between Pre-STEP and PEEF for award of scholarships under the newly proposed three-year AED programme leading to B.Ed. (Hons.) elementary degree.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that details the terms and conditions governing award of scholarships, selection criteria, and the scholarship disbursement processes is currently being fine-tuned to formalize the grant of scholarships.
In August this year, USAID/Pre-STEP launched the two-year ADE and four-year B.Ed. (Hons.) elementary degree programmes in joint collaboration with the Higher Education Commission and the Ministry of Education. The newly introduced degree programmes will help Pakistan set a new standard for teacher education and produce better qualified teachers. The Pre-Service Teacher Education Program (Pre-STEP) is a five-year (2008-2013), US $ 75 million programme funded and supported by USAID as part of its assistance to the government of Pakistan in support of its goals of improved classroom teaching. The news
Varsity students from flood-hit area want fee refund
Peshawar: Students from flood-hit areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have asked the government to order refund of their admission and hostel fee, as they have suffered huge losses and their parents can not bear their educational expenses.
"Our home and a shop run by my father were completely destroyed in floods. My father doesn't have money to support my expenses on education," said Jamal Khan from Charsadda.
When contacted, a university official said that they had already issued forms to the students of flood-hit areas concerning remission or refund of admission and hostel fee.
The form filled in by the students from 10 flood-hit districts of the province could be submitted to the university after its verification from the district coordination officers.
Atif Khan Muhammadzai, a resident of Charsadda, said that every student had deposited about Rs50,000 as hostel and admission fee before flooding. He feared that he might quit education halfway if he was not refunded the amount.
Nauman Khan of Nowshera district said that they wanted the government to treat them at par with the students of Swat, who had been refunded their fee following military operation there," he said.
There are about 10,000 students from flood-hit areas at the University of Peshawar, University of Engineering and Technology, Agricultural University and Islamia College University (chartered), who deserved to be refunded their fee, a senior official at the campus said.
He said that they were in the process of collecting data about the affected students and would contact the government in this regard later on. Dawn