Original Articles

The fake degrees issue (part ii) – by Fawad Manzoor


This country has over 70% population which is illiterate (almost 120 million out of 170 million). Then the ones who are literate are all not graduates. I don’t have figures but I would assume there aren’t more than 20 million graduates in Pakistan or may be 30 million. So it is very safe to assume that close to 150 million people who are not eligible to be people’s representative. I WOULD NOT CALL THIS DEMOCRACY.

Now the question of having fake degrees by the parliamentarians. This law was made by Musharraf and backed by his friends in Judiciary and National Assembly. Dictators and their friends would allow elections and superficial democracy with many restrictions to fool people. Like General Ayub’s Basic Democracy through BD members, then General Zia’s controlled 1979 Local bodies elections and 1985 non-party basis elections.

General Musharraf allowed two tiered controlled electoral process through much trumpeted Local Bodies called Nazim system which helped bring Musharraf’s cronies into local politics. Also came 2002 farce General Elections with new rules of having Graduation and lots and lots of unelected seats. This new law helped bring in almost 56 bearded Mullahs in the National Assembly and over 16 in the Senate.

Old Iftikhar Choudhry’s supreme court had rejected the petition filed to declare MMA’s degrees fake as they were from unrecognized Madrassa’s or were fake. Then came the court of Abdul Hameed Dogar which struck down this condition graduation as infringement on the basic rights of people to be people’s representative.

New Iftikhar Chaudhry on his return to the lucrative job has also accepted the decision of Abdul Hameed Dogar. So this graduation restriction is illegal.

Now going back to 2007 when this law was in force, people lied about their qualifications. When a tyrant or a dictator makes laws they are widely ignored by the people. Imagine how many times Musharraf regime imposed section 144 (not allowing public gathering) did all of us adhered to that. We all found ways to go around it and had public gatherings.

Now when we know that this law was illegal I don’t think there is any need to further pursue it unless we have some other motives.

Currently army is least interested to interfere in the political matters or imposing martial law. Nawaz Sharrif which has always been brought to power thru army’s intervention and ISI (we cannot forget General Hameed Gul and General Aslam Beg forming IJI and other PML and Jihadi Mullah alliances, also the heavy mandate given by ISI in 1997).

The new and innovative way to get in the power seems to be through Judiciary. Current judges have huge debt to pay to Nawaz Sharrif and they will do it at any cost. Sixty Two year history of Pakistan is a witness that either Muslim league was made by a dictator with his stamp on it or Muslim league rushed to help dictator stay in power. Muslim League has always been in power in Punjab I am surprised one Punjabi (Sharif) leaves but another Punjabi (Chaudhry) is there to help dictator.

Lord Iftikhar helped Musharraf keep his military uniform, helped Musharraf by keeping Nawaz Sharif out of country (remember he was sent back on a plane owned by the Saudi Prince), allowed Musharraf to amend constitution, allowed Mullah’s to stay in Parliament even with fake degrees just so that they can help Musharraf pass LFO (17th amendment), he rejected numerous petitions challenging Musharraf’s uniform. Where was the review of amendment by SC at that time, where was the Basic Objective resolution at that time.

I personally don’t want to be fooled by a politician, judiciary or media. People know your credentials, where you began and where you are going to end up.

Lord Iftikhar Choudhry was always accommodating to Musharraf and obliging him on everything doesnt need to put this young democracy in jeopardy. Dear Lordship has many landmark decisions allowing Musharraf to stay in power and keeping Nawaz and Benazir out of country.

Lordship might change his habits but nothing can change his conscious from supporting anti democratic forces. Lordship Iftikhar Choudhry is the birth of Martial Law and served his masters well. I don’t trust him and his motives, he is vindictive and his decisions show that. Iftikhar Chaudhry is left over of Martial Law and should not be tolerated at all. He is “sheep in wolf’s clothing”.

In plain Urdu: “Chore chori say jai magar hera pheri say na jai”, i.e., “Old habits dont die easy”

Slick Abid Sher Ali (son of Nawaz Sharif’s sister) with gel in his almost thinning hair wearing Saint Michael’s shirt, Gucci suits, Polo ties and Armani Italian shoes is trying to be smart proving his worthiness to his masters is going to derail the system and bring back the old musical chair game of 1990’s.