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Bad old ways of Pakistan People’s Party

The PPP Parliamentary Board (under the chair of President Asif Zardari) has decided to award election tickets to the following politicians who recently resigned after their academic degree was proven fake in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

  • Jamshed Dasti, NA-178, Muzaffargarh-III
  • Chaudhry Nazir Ahmed Jatt, NA-167, Vehari-I
  • Sardar Allah Wasaya alias Chunnu Leghari, Punjab Provincial Assembly PP-259, Muzaffargarh

It may be noted that MNAs Jamshaid Dasti of Pakistan Peoples Party, Nazir Jatt of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid and MPA Muhammad Ajmal of PML-Q from PP-63 (Faisalabad-XIII) had submitted their resignations before the Supreme Court on March 25. On March 30, Sardar Allah Wasaya Chunnu Leghari, an MPA of PPP from Punjab Provincial Assembly also tendered his resignation for having fake degree. (Source)

It is interesting to note that Nazeer Jatt was previously elected as an MNA on a PML-Q ticket (termed as Qatil League by Asif Zardari).

Here is an apt editorial from daily Dawn:

What is the PPP leadership thinking? In the same week the party earned plaudits for shepherding the 18th Amendment bill through parliament, it has gone and reminded the country that politicians will be politicians — and that that is not necessarily a good thing.

On Saturday, the PPP parliamentary board, headed by party leader President Zardari, announced the party’s candidates for the by-elections triggered by the recent resignations of some national and provincial assembly members after their fake degrees were exposed. Bizarrely, the PPP leadership has seen it fit to nominate the very same members who humiliatingly had to submit their resignations before the Supreme Court. And in another sordid twist, the PPP has even given its party ticket to a PML-Q legislator who had to resign his National Assembly seat from Vehari on similar grounds.

There are several points to note here. While the Bachelor’s degree requirement for assembly men and women has been dropped (which is a good thing), the men were hauled up before the SC for submitting fake documents, which can be grounds for disqualifying an elected representative. So the point here isn’t about higher education but the moral and legal lapses by the elected representatives. Why is the PPP continuing to support members who so clearly do not deserve to be the representatives of the people?

The government is sending a terrible signal to the electorate and the political class: political expediency trumps everything else.

Saturday also brought news of a ‘deal’ between the former attorney general, Sardar Latif Khosa, and the complainant who accused him of demanding a Rs3m bribe. The disciplinary committee of the Pakistan Bar Council, which was holding hearings on the matter, has now adjourned until May 8 when it will presumably announce its decision. We hope the PBC will not accept the ‘deal’ at face value and will determine the facts and share them with the public. For too long now corruption and misdemeanours have been dealt with sympathetically because of concerns about ‘stability’ and ‘democratic continuity’.

The obvious question that the PPP tickets handed out for the by-election raise, though, is: is the presidency thumbing its nose at the SC? Remember that it was a SC bench led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry that had shown great disgust at the shenanigans of the politicians caught lying and left them with no choice but to resign. Such is the poor state of relations between the judiciary and the executive that the question will be on the minds of many. The president is of course known to stick by his friends, but many will be hoping this isn’t the mindless start of a new round in the tussle between the judiciary and the executive.

Source: Dawn Editorial, 12 Apr, 2010

Of course, ordinary citizens of Pakistan as well as sincere workers of the PPP are disappointed by such decisions by the party leadership. Could not President Zardari and the PPP identify a single person higher in integrity and commitment to the PPP’s manifesto than Dastis, Jatts and Wasays in their respective constituencies? Do these (not so gentle)men really understand and represent the vision of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto?

Here is a specimen response, published as Letters to the Editor in The News:

This is with reference to your editorial “Dasti and the PM” (April 12). Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has appointed former MNA Jamshed Dasti as his adviser on livestock. He had to resign from his National Assembly seat when his graduation degree was found to be a fake. Instead of sending him to jail, the prime minister has elevated him to a position where he will enjoy even more perks and privileges at our expanse. While Jamshed Dasti, a PPP politician who cheated not only the Election Commission of Pakistan but also the residents of his own constituency, has been rewarded by Prime Minister Gilani, his namesake, Nasir Jamshed, a poor cricketer, was recently sent to jail for allegedly cheating in his Class IX exams.

Isn’t it injustice that one cheat is instantly arrested and sent to jail while the other is made adviser to the prime minister of Pakistan? The prime minister should appoint Nasir Jamshed as his adviser on cricket affairs too. Mr Prime Minister, if you continue to have people with dubious credentials and tainted past as your advisers and ministers, your honesty of purpose will come into question. Please do away with dishonest people like Jamshed Dasti; you can surely do better without such characters in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.

Group-Captain (r) Saeed Nawaz Khan
Rawalpindi

….

Politics in Pakistan, and its version practised by the PPP, is devoid of ethics. I feel disgusted at the PPP’s decision to appoint Jamshed Dasti as an adviser to the prime minister. It has insulted the collective public opinion by elevating a disgraced cheat to a higher status.

Hamza Hashmi
Muscat, Oman

Source: The News

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Abdul Nishapuri

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  • To be fair, PML-N are no angels either:

    But to the utter surprise of the general public the two major parties, PPP and PML-N, have adopted these ‘cheats’ and fielded them again.

    The PPP fielded Jamshed Dasti from NA-178, Nazir Jatt from NA-167, Allah Wasaya alias Chunnu Leghari from PP-259 while PML-N picked Mian Asif Ajmal for PP-63.

    “We have awarded a ticket to Mian Asif Ajmal as we have a commitment with the unification group MPAs that they will contest next elections on PML-N platform. So we are honouring our commitment,” PML-N Senator Pervez Rashid responded to a question by Dawn.

    “I think the people of his (Ajmal)’s constituency will reject him if they think that he had done something wrong by becoming an MPA on the basis of a fake BA degree,” Rashid said and added that going through re-election was also a form of punishment.

    “Let me clarify that the PML-N will not re-award a ticket to any such candidate of its party keeping in view the moral grounds,” the PML-N senator said.

    Cost to Pakistan:

    The by-election to each National Assembly seat, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan, costs the exchequer Rs4 million and that of provincial Rs2million. The ECP will be spending Rs12 million on May 15 when he by-poll to two NA and as many PA seats is held.

    Law

    “Though there is no provision in the ECP rules to bar a candidate from re-contesting in case he or she has to vacate the seat for possessing fake graduation degree, a rival candidate can challenge the qualification of such a candidate before a returning officer,” an ECP official told Dawn.

    Selective Accountability or Selective Justification or Both

    PPP central information secretary Fauzia Wahab was however very critical over ‘select’ accountability of her party men. “The degrees of some 50 per cent MNAs have been challenged in the courts since long but the cases of a few of them are being taken up, why?

    “I think there should not be any bar of degrees on politicians. Politics is not something that is learnt through obtaining degrees,” she said.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/local/lahore/resignations-on-fake-degrees-may-15-bypoll-to-cost-exchequer-rs12m-340

  • SC reserves verdict on PML-N MPs’ fake degrees

    * PU official files academic record of lawmakers
    * Record verifies both legislators acquired graduation degrees in 2004, but shows degrees acquired in 2002 were fake

    Staff Report

    ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its judgement on petitions seeking the disqualification of PML-N legislators for using fake BA degrees to qualify for elections.

    A three-member bench of Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui and Justice Mian Saqib Nisar reserved the judgement on two petitions challenging the degrees of MNA Rasheed Akbar Nawani from NA-74 and MPA Saeed Akbar Nawani from PP-49.

    A Punjab University official filed the academic record of the two lawmakers. While the university record verified that both legislators acquired their graduation degrees in 2004, the PU official told the court that the degrees acquired by them in 2002 were fake.

    Representing petitions Afzal Khan Dandla and Ghazanfar Cheena, Iftikhar Hussain Gillani called on the court to disqualify the PML-N lawmakers, who are also brothers.

    Representing the PML-N legislators, Muhammad Akram Sheikh said the fake degrees of 2002 were a “closed-and-past transaction”. He said the
    graduation degrees acquired by the brothers in 2004 were genuine, and they could, therefore, not be disqualified.

    After hearing arguments by both sides, the court reserved its judgement – which is likely to be announced over the next few days.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\04\13\story_13-4-2010_pg7_22

  • The Dawn editorial also mentions Latif Khosa. Here is a relevant piece.

    Latif Khosa faces bribery allegation
    By Matiullah Jan
    Saturday, 17 Oct, 2009

    ISLAMABAD: Attorney General Latif Khan Khosa was removed last week from the constitutional office after the Supreme Court initiated a probe into allegations of corruption against him, official sources and evidence obtained by this correspondence suggest.

    In an unprecedented move, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has summoned the former AG to an open court hearing on Oct 21 to reply to an allegation that he took Rs3 million as bribe to get a convict acquitted during the time Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar occupied the office of Chief Justice.

    The convict, Maghfoor Shah, a former general manager in the National Highway Authority, had been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and fined over Rs3 million and 200,000 US dollars after having been found guilty of corruption. After failing to get relief from the Supreme Court, he claims to have bribed Mr Khosa for his help.

    ‘So there was no other way and we were compelled to give bribe of 30 lacks (sic) to Attorney General Mr Latif Khan Khosa. He promised to acquit us within a month with all benefits if we pay him an advance of 30 lacks. On his demand the advance was paid on Feb 19, 09,’ Maghfoor alleged in a Sept 25 affidavit.

    A notice from the Chief Justice served on Mr Khosa and others read: ‘Copy of the complaint along with annexure be also sent to Sardar Latif Muhammad Khan Khosa, ASC (Advocate Supreme Court). He is also required to attend the court along with DAG-1, Umer Draz and Mian Tariq.’

    DAG-1 mentioned in the notice stands for the office of Deputy Attorney General, which is currently held by Dil Muhammad Ali Zai, who being a witness to the alleged bribery incident, has also been asked to appear in the case.

    The complaint before the Supreme Court comprises affidavits by Maghfoor Shah and his wife Dr Mazhar Jamal and a letter addressed to the Chief Justice dated Sept 24.

    The complainant has also accused the former attorney general of offering him Rs6 million through a middleman to withdraw complaint. ‘…he presented a receipt for signatures in the form of an application addressed to the chief justice which was fabricated an absolutely false,’ said an affidavit submitted to the Chief Justice on Oct 13.

    The application which Mr Khosa’s man allegedly wanted Mr Maghfoor to sign said: ‘Such amount was never paid as bribe to the attorney general. Our complaints may pleased be filed as we have no grievance against anyone.’ The affidavit goes on to claim that Mr Khosa’s man (named Mian Tariq)… ‘also said that if you sign this even I can pay you double the amount i.e. Rs60 lacs, if you want.’

    Talking to DawnNews, Mr Latif Khosa categorically rejected the allegations and said that a man convicted by a court of corruption could not be taken seriously. He vowed to defend himself by appearing on October 21.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/16-latif-khosa-faces-bribery-allegation-hs-05

    Here is the reward:

    Latif Khosa appointed PMs IT advisor

    Updated : Saturday February 6 , 2010 9:27:50 PM

    ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Saturday appointed Sardar Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa as his Advisor on Information Technology.

    Latif Khosa has been given the status of a federal minister, says a Cabinet Division notification issued here.

    http://www.thearynews.com/english/newsdetail.asp?nid=42349

  • I think Mr. Gillani has himself served for 5 years in prison for ‘nepotism’ or ‘Iktiaraat ka Najaiz Istemal’ ????? I wish, such culture must not prevail, at least in PPP, otherwise PPP and merit will no longer walk side by side. May be that perception is wrong as the intellectual associates of PPP will keep on showing their disgust on such acts but the real leadership has nothing a damn to care for such associates. At least these poor followers are chanting slogans in favor of them by bursting their lungs out and thats what they are meant to do, till end. Merit is, who is born within the lots of leaderships, past, current and future.

  • i totally support PPP stance on giving ticket to the Jamsheed Dasti.
    آخر کیوں نہ دستی کو ٹککٹ دیا جایے کیا وہ کھروں، نوابزادوں، مخدوموں سے زیادہ کرپٹ ہے. کیا صرف یہی وجہ ہے کہ وہ ایک وڈیرہ نہیں ہے ، یا وہ ایک جیالا ہے

    میں مکمل طور پر سپپورٹ کرتا ہوں پرتھے کے فیصلے کو. اور آپ دیکھیے گا، مظفر گڑھ کے عوام جمشید دستی کو ووٹ دے کر کامیاب کروایں گے اور خر، اور نواب زادوں کو ایسسا سبق سیکھیں گے جو ان کی نسسلیں یاد رکھیں گی.
    عوام زندباد

  • when on the highest echelons of power in politics, Khars, Makhdooms, Mians, Nawabzadas, Dastis are all the same. ‘Aik he saf main kharay hain’. All teaches a good lesson to the public and not to each other. We all wish that the power transfers to the real ‘Zindabad Awam’ but that awam is in the hands of all above.

  • why should PPP find an other candidate leaving behind a candidate who stood with the party through thick and thin, who grow from lower middle class and is immensely popular in the constituency?

    just because rightist media dont like him?
    i think ~PPP did absolutely right thing to give a ticket son of poor farmer against the landlords.

  • I dont like Jamshed Dasti but why is this issue being made into such a big deal? if people of Muzzafargarh are apparently aking out rallies in favour of Dasti then let them at least have the option of voting for him again. same goes for the PML-N candidate mentioned in the comments by Abdul.

    and if govt wants to save money on by-elections then courts should show some discretion and not kick out MNAs based on 2 yr old petitions filed on obsolete laws.

  • If judiciary can do SAJDA A SAHU by taking oath under pco/dictators then why not political workers can get a chance to go for vote.People have right to choose their representatives.

  • Agreed with Rabia. If the workers of his constituency supports him and they want him to be MNA again than why we are opposing decision of PPP Leadership ?

  • Rabia, Sheryaar and Farhad, there you go again. Please don’t try and make logical arguements in favour of PPP becausecivil society can’t stand Jiyalas and bases their reasoning on reactionary attitudes and not logic! You have it all wrong. Jamshed Dasti is the evil hench of that dictator Zardari and the Judiciary has been democratically elected by the brave marches and movements of civil society, when they came down in their Prados and subsisted on gourment sandwhiches and Coke to fight for democracy. Please, it is this peaceful struggle of two years which has resulted in Judiciary finally taking on the evil PPP that has destroyed Pakistan. Soon the brave Taliban resistance will be fully freed by the judiciary and together, they will take out your PPP dictatorship!

  • Let all be right and OK, if the constituency wants him back on their backs, again. Let them have their trail blazing leader. A leader is meant to lead by his vitues, what kind of a virtue Mr. Dasti and many others including PMLN are portraying to their AWAM. Buy a degree for Rs.10K, get a party ticket and win an election from the platform of a larger party, who promises him to issue a ticket again as and when needed basis. The constituency will follow the trait of their ‘great leader’ by buying degrees and ‘wallah’, here goes the level of education of that constituency, every body will be promised by heaven that they will get a job due to the merit of ‘Jiyalaship’? Thats exactly happened in Sind, Punjab, then same thing followed by MQM on more larger scale. Now there are fewer intellectuals available but one can find millions of master degree holders unable to write their names.

    I think thats why we dont have leaders now, only mere politicians, bunch of them are much filthy, who just want to remain and enjoy the power, no matter what. What we do, keep on bowing our heads on every step taken by ‘our favorite party’. At least show some audacity to declare wrond as wrong, other wise we already have been facing the repercussions and unluckily they are getting harder and stronger. So be it.

  • @Sarah Khan Thats what we ought to write, express, think and act. This is how we can make the ‘Critical PPP’ forum a constructive platform for PPP itself, who should think beyond the very petty ‘favoritism for the sake of favoritism’ otherwise this forum would become suffocating, congested and narrowminded extremist forum only favoring the wrongs of PPP. We are here to put a seal on the holes and not to favor the hole makers.

  • @Khan Thank you.

    Another feather in the PML-N’s cap:

    PML-N MPA resigns over fake degree row

    LAHORE: Mir Badshah Khan Qaisarani of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on Saturday resigned from his Punjab Assembly seat for allegedly possessing a fake degree, a private TV channel reported. The channel said Qaisarani tendered his resignation to Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Iqbal Khan, saying he was resigning due to personal reasons. The election tribunal is currently hearing a petition against Qaisarani for presenting a fake degree to contest elections, the channel said. daily times monitor

    http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\04\18\story_18-4-2010_pg7_31

  • Here goes yet another MPA from PML-N.

    PML-N MPA resigns in fake degree case

    Staff Report

    ISLAMABAD: A three-member Supreme Court (SC) bench on Tuesday directed the Election Commission (EC) to hold by-polls in the PP-160 (Lahore-XXIV) constituency after the apex court was informed that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Member of Provincial Assembly Rana Mubashir Iqbal has tendered his resignation over possessing a fake graduation degree.

    The bench – comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Chaudhry Ijaz Ahmed and Justice Ghulam Rabbani – disposed of the case, observing, “The petition is disposed of without any prejudice and the Election Commission of Pakistan is required to issue the notification for holding by-elections”. Mubashir’s counsel, Hamid Khan, told the SC that his client had decided to resign from his seat after consulting with the party leadership. A voter from the PP-160 constituency had filed a petition challenging Mubashir’s graduation degree.

    http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\04\21\story_21-4-2010_pg7_5

  • Junk of PMLN exposed. I wish, after the fake degree scenarios, judiciary and Election Commission both, must expose the fake Income Tax & Wealth Tax Returns of our politicians as well and see how much resignations we receive. I wonder, I see the parliament going empty !!!!

  • @Akhtar Wow, tolerance of Kamran Shahid and tenaciousness of Jamshed Dasti are both commendable. This was not Dasti but the backing of him by PPP leadership was giving him the courage to stick on his grounds. Thats what gives courage to stay corrupt and ‘Untouchable’.

  • I wish there should be a law that must charge the complete re-election cost from such elements and banning them for participation from the same electorate for one or two terms as compensation.

  • EditorialFake degrees

    Like the house of cards painstakingly created by all the preceding dictators, General Musharraf’s political construct inherited by the present dispensation is gradually chipping off to show its inherent imperfections. Take the example of the eligibility for becoming a federal or provincial legislator. Clamping the condition of a bachelor’s degree was, in principle, wrong because it violated the fundamental right of 98 percent citizens of Pakistan to represent their constituencies because they did not possess the requisite academic qualification, limiting public office to barely two percent of the population. The logic presented in favour of this condition was that it would open the doors of the highest law-making bodies for the educated class, enabling them to make positive contributions to the national decision-making. However, the intention was not as pure as it appeared on the face of it. The election rules allowed madrassa certificate-holders to contest elections. Not only did this do injustice to people who had come up through the regular education system because a madrassa certificate is not equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, the move opened the floodgates for all sorts of religious schools to issue fake certificates, an opportunity availed mostly by members of religious parties, which comprised a major chunk of the legislature returned by the 2002 general election.

    As was expected, the ‘educated’ assemblies did not deliver the desired benefits. The two general elections held under this rule returned the same political class to the legislature, many of them on fake degrees. Although this condition was discriminatory in the first place, but a public track record of abiding by the existing laws is the minimum one expects from national and provincial legislators. Mortifying as it is, recurrent cases of incumbent lawmakers being dismissed or opting to resign to save their skins for having contested elections on fake degrees on the petitions of their rivals has proved that self-serving measures such as these cannot bring any improvement in our political culture. Ironically, intra-party rivalry among women members of PML-Q has prompted one to file for the disqualification of two of her fellow party members who made it to the Punjab Assembly on reserved seats for women, barring the way of qualified nominees. This whole idea now appears farcical. Where Musharraf has done immeasurable damage to many other things, this is another example of how he harmed the institution of parliament in not recognising the ‘high’ moral ground on which Pakistan’s political class operates. *

    http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\04\24\story_24-4-2010_pg3_1

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