Pakistan, a country always famous for one major concern or the other, is yet surrounded in another show up. This show up occurred late last month when the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered the Education Commission to assess the qualifications of almost 1, 170 Federal and Provincial Parliamentarians, scandalized in the outrage of forged degrees. Now, not even a day goes by without one Member of the Parliament or the other being exposed to have lied about his fake degree, or the educational institutions revealing and confirming that the degrees are false.
A standard, educated individual of our country will look at this matter quite skeptically and would not hesitate to comment that all these Parliamentarians who lied about their education should be instantly dismissed from their respective positions and should be defamed to the highest level so that the rest of us become aware of their deception and such actions should be avoided in the future. Most of us hold the view that if there is a set standard for a position in the Parliament, then that should be followed by everyone. In the world of today, education has become a necessity good, without which a nation has no likelihood of long term survival. If our leaders are not educated, how will they understand and convey the value of learning and culture to the rest of the country? This is a standard Pakistani speaking. In addition, being an emotional state, the case of forged degrees has hurt the sentiments of our people and ignited them beyond levels because it is not about being educated or not; it’s about dishonesty and trickery. These Parliamentarians represent our country, our citizens and if they are not true to their country, then what example are they setting for the rest? A Pakistani of this age will talk about changing the system and morality of today for the good of tomorrow.
But, as usual, we are quick in deciding upon the punishments, neither thinking nor caring about the consequences. We are beyond that stage where we can talk about benefits and losses. Today, there is only one option we mostly face; LOSS! And we have to decide that which option will cost us lesser. We have passed that phase where we could talk about advantages and profits. The case of falsified degrees is, without any doubt, a very sad incident which has again lessened our trust in the leadership of this country. But let’s give ourselves a chance and assess this situation in a little different manner. Pakistan is a third world nation, with a literacy rate of around 57 percent, as of the year 2010. We are an agricultural state, and most of us belong to families who are or once have been associated with the landlords. In our country, more than 65 percent of the population lives in the rural areas, where they understand only one language; being subservient to the powerful. They do not care if their leader is educated or not, he should be powerful, respectable and trustworthy. All of us, who talk about an educated leader, should first decide upon the criteria of a lawmaker. Is it education or competence? Should he have various degrees to prove his eligibility or should he be judged upon the work he does for his people? Do we want an educated and sophisticated non performing leader or rather a less educated but a vibrant achiever? If we value education more than proficiency, then, in my opinion, all the PhDs of our country should be picked up immediately and appointed as our lawmakers and leaders.
In my view, basic understanding of values is more important than education. Education does make us a better person but the way one feels for his country, his brethren and the sensitivity one feels is in born. Either you have it or you don’t have it. The parliament we have today represents the majority of Pakistan. I am not in support of the case of forged degrees. That, by no means, can be justified to be a correct action but there should be no degree requirement in the Parliament because this will exclude half of the nation. We cannot afford such a condition because we already suffer from the disease of bureaucracy and such an order will only make things more difficult. In addition, what will be the result if all these alleged Parliaments are held guilty? Re-election? Dismissals? Defamation? And the most important question, is it in the welfare of our country to publicize these aspects in such conditions which our country is facing? Can we afford a mid-term election? These are all the questions that we will hardly think about and will just pass our decision. If we want a better tomorrow, we must amend our actions and approach, not the people.