Former NA speakers for life ban on fake degree holders
By Mumtaz Alvi
ISLAMABAD: Former speakers of the National Assembly on Saturday expressed the hope that the judiciary would not let the fake degree holders return to parliament or provincial legislatures once their guilt was proved.
They strongly opposed the political parties awarding tickets to those legislators found guilty of having got degrees by using illegal means and insisted that they had no right to sit in legislatures.
“It is now the job of the judiciary to take a decision whether or not the fake degree holders should be allowed to sit in parliament or provincial assemblies,” emphasised Hamid Nasir Chattha, who remained the speaker of the National Assembly from 1986 to 1988.
Talking to The News here, he wondered why some parties were again awarding tickets to those found guilty of misleading the nation on their educational credentials.
He said this when asked to comment on the PPP decision to again award a ticket to Jamshaid Dasti, who is now back to the lower house of parliament from Muzaffargarh. Dasti had to resign in disgrace a few months back for having got a fake degree.
A senior PPP activist and ex-deputy speaker of the NA, Wazir Jogezai, called for clamping a life ban on politicians with a fake degree.
“Fake degree holders have no moral justification to represent the people, serve them or take part in legislation,” he said.
Gohar Ayub, who served as the NA speaker from 1990 to 1993, was very careful in his remarks and said had anyone come up with a fake degree in the UK or the US to qualify for elections, the voters would have never elected him again.
“But the situation in Pakistan is different, parties award them tickets again and voters re-elect them,” he said in response to a query about the PPP’s soft stance on the matter. He said Pervez Musharraf’s move to link participation in elections to having a graduation degree was aimed at ousting senior politicians from the electoral process.
Replying to a question, Gohar Ayub pointed out that many key personalities were not graduates, but they continued to be revered and remembered for their services.
Source: The News