Fake degree holders – some questions

1. How many fake degree holders are allegedly in the assemblies?
2. Now that the degree requirement is no longer in place, can someone be disqualified under article 62(f) (for not being “honest”) if it turns out his degree is not ‘accredited’. e.g. in the case of a Madrasa degree, if it turns out to be an unaccredited Madrasa? The question here is, let’s say you get a Madarsa degree, you report that degree with the ECP while filing your papers and later a court decides that your degree is not acceptable. You didn’t lie, so since the degree requirement is no longer in place and people are only being disqualified on the basis of dishonesty, does this disqualify you?
3. Was Jamshed Dasti (and Ajmal Asif’s) degree fake or not? The LHC dismissed petitions against Dasti on a technicality. Should we have the right to know if his degree is fake or not? Why was a petition not filed correctly with the ECP against his eligibility? Why was the SC not able to rule definitively whether or not his degree was fake or not?
4. What should be done about the remaining fake degree holders? Should they a) be dealt with on an ad hoc basis as petitions are filed? if so, why are these petitions being ignored for 2 years and then suddenly being handled by the courts in 2010? b) Should they be handled by the parliament by sending every parliamentarian’s degree to the HEC for mass verification as suggested by Abid Sher Ali?
5. Finally, what should be done if a large number of legislators are determined to have fake degrees? Should they be sorted into two categories – those that presented fraudulent degrees and those that presented degrees that they didn’t know were not accredited? The former could be disqualified under article 62(f) and the latter would be safe?
6. Is there any way for us to move past the degree requirement? Or will this always be a sword hanging over the head of the country? Should someone be questioning the Courts’ decisions to unleash the fake degree issue on Parliamentarians at strategic times. For example, the decision to make SC Justice Javed Iqbal the acting head of the ECP this month and his sudden announcement that all fake degree holders would be held ineligible. Why was this done in May 2010 rather than any time prior to that?
7. Can we agree that this is a problem faced by not just the PPP but by PML-Q, PML-N and JUI-F?
8. As far as I can tell no party has given a ticket to any individual declared ineligible to contest (on the basis of 62(f)) by any court. If that’s the case then what exactly is the problem here? Shouldn’t the onus be on the courts to definitively prove that someone is ineligible?

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