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HEC to take up non-provision of 22 MPs degrees with ECP

HEC to take up non-provision of 22 MPs degrees with ECP
Islamabad: Non-provision of degrees of 22 elected representatives would top the agenda of the meeting likely to be held on Thursday between respective representatives of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the sources said here on Sunday.

The sources said that HEC’s focal person Rahim Bux Channa vigorously took up the issue of those degrees that were yet to be received by the commission in the first meeting held on August 5 and asked the ECP’s nominated officer to ensure provision of these degrees at the earliest.

“But despite assurance by the ECP’s nominated person in the first meeting no more degree has been provided to HEC and the issue is going to be taken up again in the upcoming meeting,” the sources said.

HEC’s focal person Rahim Bux Channa said that provision of degrees of all elected representatives is necessary for completion of verification process and “we would take up the issue again in the upcoming meeting.” He said HEC has so far tested 294 degrees out of which 246 were declared genuine and 47 fake in line with the reports presented by the respective universities while cases of 12 degrees were pending before the courts. Para 3 (IV) of the policy guidelines issued by the ECP verification is required in respect of “all degrees” submitted by the members in their nomination papers.

ECP’s nominated officer Muhammad Afzal Khan has already said that all degrees of the elected members as per their own declarations in the nomination papers would be verified.

Rahim Bux Channa said they are trying to complete the verification process as soon as possible but “everything is not in our hands.” To a question he said it is up to ECP whether it secures degrees directly from the elected members or asks respective returning officers who hold record of nomination papers.

One of the senior officials of HEC told this scribe that an interaction between Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and HEC Chairman Dr. Javed Leghari has nothing to do with the verification of degrees. He said HEC is trying hard from the very first day to speed up the verification process and it would continue to pursue the same policy in the coming days.

HEC Executive Director Dr. Sohail Naqvi said there is some unnecessary hype about interaction between the Army Chief and HEC chairman as both of them were only present there due to a board meeting of NUST. “We have a very clear policy about verification of degrees of the elected representatives and we have been pursuing it from day one,” he said.

To a question he said he cannot make any guess about how much time the verification process would take, saying “we are trying to complete it at the earliest.”

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