Islamabad: At least 29 Pakistani
lawmakers submitted fake degrees along with their nomination
papers during the 2008 elections, a probe by country`s main
educational authority has established.
The Supreme Court and parliament`s standing
committee on education directed the Higher Education
Commission to verify the academic qualifications of members of
provincial and national assemblies after over a dozen
lawmakers were found in possession of fake degrees.
"We received 1,065 degrees of the lawmakers and
verification of 511 degrees has been completed so far.
Twenty-nine degrees were found to be fake," Mahmood
Raza, Advisor to the Higher Education Commission, told a news
Raza refused to name the lawmakers who submitted
fake certificates in order to qualify for the 2008 elections
to the provincial and national assemblies.
He said the commission will present its final report
to the parliamentary panel and the Election Commission on July
The move to verify the degrees of lawmakers had
sparked speculation about mid-term polls being held if action
is taken against legislators and parliamentarians with fake
Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf had made it
mandatory for persons contesting elections to hold a
bachelor`s degree. The condition was waived by President Asif
Ali Zardari`s government.
Legal experts have said any lawmaker whose degree is
found to be fake will be unseated and a bye-election held to