Thursday, July 15, 2010

Top 10: Mistakes Pakistani Politicians Made on Fake Degrees

The curious issue of the fake degrees held by politicians in public office, in case you've missed the latest in Pakistani politics, has been dominating the political landscape recently. This Al-Jazeera report provides a good, impartial summary. The latest, from Dawn, puts the tally at 47.

Fraudulent degrees and ill-advised submissions, when exposed, make for some (extremely) entertaining stories. So after much research and deliberation, here's a Top 10 of mistakes politicians made on their fake degrees:

10.The degree-awarding institution did not bear a believable name. Fire University?!
From The News: The BBA degree of Hummayun Aziz Kurd (PPP) was issued by Air International University. [...] Yet another Mir from Balochistan — Mir Humayun Aziz — who is a member of the National Assembly, has declared to have done “Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing” in 1999 from “Fire International University”. The HEC declared it, too, as a Non-Chartered University.
From Dawn: Mr Hussain had submitted to the election commission his BA degree in Islamic Studies issued by the Trinity College and University Spain incorporated in Dover, Delaware (USA), while filing his nomination forms for October 2002 general elections.

9. Purchasing fake degrees from the internet. Can you get any lazier?

From The News: Two ministers of state in Musharraf’s cabinet were also caught buying fake degrees from internet-based universities. The degree of ex-senator Pari Gul Agha was also questioned by the media but no one challenged it and the lady walked away after completing her term and contributing her role in passing the infamous 17th Amendment.

8. Submitted degree misspelled name of the University of Punjab, one of Pakistan’s most prominent institutions, as 'Panjab.'

Via The News: Where is the University of ‘Panjab’, as against the genuine Punjab University? A host of degrees presented by parliamentarians belong to this institution in ‘Panjab’. Masters and Bachelors’ degrees issued to a large number of sitting lawmakers come from University of the Panjab, raising doubts about their genuineness.

7. Failing to recall, when questioned, the name of courses indicated on submitted degree transcripts. When the MP did answer, he identified a subject with the acronym IPS as 'Health and Physical Education.'

From Dawn: In his verdict, the chief justice also mentioned what he called a revealing incident when Rizwan Gill, who had secured 72 per cent marks in a subject called IPS, was asked to define what it stood for. A long silence was the answer offered by Mr. Gill who himself had come to the podium to address the court. On court’s insistence and after deep thought, his reply was “Health and Physical Education”. The detailed marks certificate produced on record by Mr. Gill himself mentioned the IPS as “Islamic Studies/Ethics and Pakistan Studies”.

6. Text on foreign-issued degree indicated that University headquarters were based in Defence Housing Authority, Lahore.

Via The News: “Rubina Zafar Zehri having completed the prescribed studies and satisfied the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration has accordingly been admitted to that degree with all the rights, privileges and immunities thereunto appertaining In witness whereof, the Trustees of Mitech Institute of Management & Information Technology have caused this degree to be signed by the duly authorized officers of the Institute and embossed with its corporate at Lahore, Pakistan.”

5. Submitting Doctorate degree earned from a sham university charged of fraudulent activity by American authorities, where one individual was found to be responsible for teaching 425 courses in 14 disciplines!

From Dawn: The university from where Law Minister Babar Awan claims to have done his PhD is banned in the United States from issuing any degree and cannot even claim that it is a legal educational institution. Long before the dispute over fake degrees became a political issue in Pakistan, the Circuit Court of the First Circuit in the State of Hawaii, declared that the University of Monticello was a non-recognised and non-chartered university.

4. The famous case of Jamshed Dasti: Upon interrogation by the court, failed to display even basic knowledge of the degree course in question.

Via The News: The PPP MNA failed to answer the questions of the court about the total number of Surahs in the Holy Qur’aan, including the names of any of the five Surahs. Justice Ramday questioned Dasti: “How you did the Dars-e-Nizami course, as you even don’t know the names of five Surahs?”

3. Academic program indicated on degree did not exist at the time of submission, was formed 7 years later.

From Dawn: According to the details submitted to the election commission by Hayat, she graduated from Islamabad's Rifah University in 2002 with a BBA degree. However, according to records, Rifah University did not offer the BBA programme in 2002.

2. Indicating the same identification number of the same University as a previous minister who, as it turns out, had already been dismissed from office on the basis of those details!

From Dawn: He said a report submitted by the religious institution denied having issued any certificate to Javed Husnain, and even Wafaqul Madaris Al-Arbia in its reply confirmed that the Madressah of Bannu was not affiliated with it. The counsel said a fact to prove the certificate bogus was that it had the same roll number which was allegedly issued in the name of Ms Naghma Mushtaq who had won the election from PP-206 and later was held disqualified on the basis of a Madressah certificate.

1. Master’s degree, earned in ’92, predated Bachelor’s degree, issued in ‘06. Must be some genius!

From The News: MPA Tariq Mehmood Bajwa [...] is learnt to have obtained a graduation degree from the Bahauddin Zakariya University in the year 2006 while his masters degree is from Tanzeem-ul-Madaris-ul-Islami in the year 1992.
Fact is, there are any number of reasons — philosophical, political, social and perhaps even economic — to oppose the mandatory degree law. But the law is a minor inconvenience after all, meant to be subverted through online degrees and fake results. Now, predictably, there's bedlam: Pakistani psychiatrists are saying politicians with fake degrees are dangers to society, the presidency is trying to delay degree verification and one lawmaker even suggests a punishment of 80 lashes for anyone found to have submitted fake qualifications.

Don't know what the problem is, to be honest. "A degree," as Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani said, "is a degree, whether fake or real."


  1. Very well researched and well written. Impressive! :)

  2. Bajwa Saab should get an award. Topping this list requires an unprecedented level of idiocy!

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