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Degrees of all civil servants to be verified

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Abid Sher Ali says Army, private sector may also be checked

By Usman Manzoor

ISLAMABAD: As parliamentarians face the fake degrees scam, Chairman of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Education has announced he will get degrees of all government servants verified to cleanse the civil services as well.

PML-N MNA Abid Sher Ali has vowed to verify the degrees of all the civil servants, from Grade 17 and above, including doctors, engineers and educationists of both the government and private sectors.

Analysts, however, said it was not clear whether the MNA could verify degrees of people working in the private sector, as it was basically the responsibility of the private company managements to ensure that they hired genuine professionals.

Talking to The News from London, Abid Sher Ali said he had initiated the process of verifying all the degrees and had started with parliament but it would not stop until the degree of every responsible person in the country was verified.

He mentioned that the judiciary was an independent institution, therefore, the verification of degrees of the judiciary would be left to the judiciary itself, However, he would write to the Ministry of Defence to get the degrees of army men verified.

It is worth mentioning here that Abid outsmarted the Election Commission and parliament, including his own party the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, in which many fake-degree holders were sitting, by initiating the battle against the fake degree holders on his own. He was criticised not only by the government but also by his own party members. Even one powerful federal minister threatened Abid of severe consequences if he did not stop the verification process of the degrees of parliamentarians.

“I am returning on July 22 and as soon as I reach Pakistan, I will take the task of verifying the degrees of all the civil servants of Grade 17 and above wherever they are posted,” said Abid, adding: “We will also verify the degrees of doctors, engineers, employees of the National Assembly and the Senate, all commissions and of educational institutions.” He also mentioned that his visit to the UK was planned much before he initiated the process of verification of degrees and there was no other reason behind his tour.

He held that the NA body would ask the Higher Education Commission to verify the degrees of all the educationalists, from vice-chancellors to lecturers, and of public and private sectors both.

While talking about the verification of the degrees of parliamentarians Abid Sher Ali said that the duty of NA committee had finished and now it was up to the HEC and the Election Commission. “We have finished our job and the HEC will compile the report of fake degrees by 18-19 July,” Adid added.

He once again intimated that he would countercheck the verification of degrees and if any university was found verifying a fake degree, its vice chancellor and Registrar would be sent to jail for cheating the nation. “We (parliamentarians) are the role models and should present ourselves as role models, therefore, there is no room for those who have cheated the nation by submitting fake degrees and we have initiated this process ourselves as we should not leave all the things to the judiciary,” said Abid Sher Ali.