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
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.
Source: The News