Foul play or sheer timing? The curious case of the HEC Chairman’s brother

Dr Farooq Leghari, a former DCO and brother of HEC Chairman Dr Javed Leghari.—Dawn

Here is a compilation of various news reports and analyses which raise doubts about the sudden (and unusual) process of anti-corruption started against Farooq Leghari, younger brother of Javed Leghari, chairman of Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission (HEC). Overall it seems that fake degree holders sitting in Pakistan’s parliament are playing a dirty game to pressurize Javed Leghari in order to impede the due process of degree verification currently under way in the HEC.

Notwithstanding our political affiliations, we wholeheartedly support Dr Javed Leghari and the HEC in honestly evaluating the genuineness of academic degrees held by members of Pakistan’s parliament.

Fix the chairman

Dr Javed Laghari, chairman of the Higher Education Commission, is an honourable man whose services to the party were recognised by Benazir. To prevent him from doing the job he has been tasked with, in compliance with Supreme Court orders, he is being subjected to unacceptable and reprehensible pressure via his brother, Farooq, a civil servant in Sindh. The tactics employed to ‘fix’ the chairman are uncouth and clumsy in the extreme — and blatantly shameless. And, even if Laghari manages to hold out, there is no guarantee that the universities will comply with honesty. The bully-boys must be called off.

Questions, and more questions
By Ardeshir Cowasjee
Sunday, 18 Jul, 2010

HEC chief’s brother re-arrested in corruption case
Friday, July 16, 2010

HYDERABAD: Judge Special Anti-Corruption Court, Hyderabad, Faiz Rasool Rashidi, accepted the bail of Dr Farooq Leghari, the brother of the chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), for the amount of Rs 200,000.

Farooq Leghari, former DCO Tando Allah Yar and Tando Muhammad Khan, was arrested on the charge of corruption of Rs 70 million, which he allegedly committed during his tenure as the DCO. Later, he was also arrested for embezzlement of more than Rs 20.12 million in the purchase of Hepatitis C medicines and for making unauthorised expenses and renovation of his office. On Thursday, after the acceptance of Farooq Leghariís bail, his elder brother Tariq Leghari approached the court with documents relating to the bail. But he was told that Farooq Leghari would not be released as there was another corruption case against him.

Deputy Director Anti-Corruption, Hyderabad, Aftab Kamran, said the complaint regarding embezzlement of Rs 20.12 million was lodged by EDO Finance Tando Muhammad Khan, Abdul Majeed, on the basis of which FIR 5/2010 had been registered. It has been alleged that Dr Farooq Leghari had not followed the Pepra Rules. He did not issue any tenders and made the purchases worth over Rs 12.2 million. He further said that the former DCO also spent Rs 3 million on renovation of the DC House without giving information to the finance department. Besides, he also purchased expensive Hepatitis C vaccines for the Chief Minister Sindh’s Programme for Hepatitis C, without constituting a board for the purpose. It was further stated that the market value of a vial of Hepatitis C was Rs 196 while the former DCO Tando Muhammad Khan purchased it for Rs 500, thus, he embezzled money.

Dr Farooq Leghari would be produced before the Civil Judge and Judicial Magistrate, Tando Muhammad Khan, for remand. Replying to a question, the DD Anti-corruption said the process for Dr Farooqís arrest against the complaint lodged had started since June 2010 and he was arrested after obtaining permission from the competent authority.

Arrest of Farooq or arm-twisting of Javed Leghari?

The Presidency has been told by the Sindh government that a brother of the Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Javed Leghari has been arraigned on some old corruption charges.

“I checked with the Sindh government and was informed that Farooq Leghari, a bureaucrat, is accused of having committed corruption,” presidential adviser Farhatullah Babar told The News.

He was told that the previous cases against Farooq Leghari had been activated. However, he said he did not have detailed information in this connection. He said he phoned Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who was not available.

Babar said the Presidency had nothing to do with the start of these cases against Farooq Leghari. He said it had not directed or desired the removal of the HEC chairman.Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani appointed Dr Leghari as the HEC chairman in August last after he resigned as senator on being asked by his Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Babar said the HEC chairman was not appointed by the president and thus could not be removed by him. The nomination was made by the prime minister on the recommendation of the Education Ministry.

Meanwhile, the Sindh Home Department has been made in charge of the operation to make Dr Javed Leghari, who belongs to Sindh, surrender by proceeding against his brother.“The prime minister has not been taken on board in this regard,” a source said on condition of anonymity.

Arrest of Farooq or arm-twisting of Javed Leghari?
Thursday, July 15, 2010
By Tariq Butt


Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif has warned the government against what he called the victimisation of the chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for carrying out verification of legislators’ degrees.

“I warn the government to refrain from its threatening conduct against a dutiful officer who has set examples of truthful working in evaluating academic degrees of lawmakers that ought to be emulated by all government officials in discharge of their duty,” Mr Sharif said in a statement issued from London and released by the party’s media office here on Sunday. The statement says that Mr Sharif “has taken serious exception to coercion and intimidation that the Pakistan People’s Party-led government is perpetrating on HEC chairperson Javed Leghari in a bid to prevent him from performing his duty with honesty and a sense of highly professional and national obligation”.

Nawaz warns against HEC chief’s ‘victimisation’
Monday, 19 Jul, 2010

Sheer timing?

It is interesting to note that the PML-N leaders have been issuing statements condemning the government for allegedly victimising the HEC chairman, but Mr Leghari himself has not made any complaint in this regard. Instead, sources close to the HEC chairman quoted him to have said that he was being unnecessarily dragged into politics.

Mr Leghari or the HEC, they said, had nothing to do with the verification process as the HEC was only acting as a post office and its main job was only to send the degrees to respective universities. The HEC chairman has a number of times stated that he is under no pressure from the government on the degrees’ issue.

It seems that the sheer timing of the arrest of Mr Leghari’s bureaucrat brother in alleged cases of corruption has prompted opposition leaders to come out with statements in his support.

Nawaz warns against HEC chief’s ‘victimisation’
Monday, 19 Jul, 2010

‘Foul play’?

The Chairman of Higher Education Commission, Mr Javed Leghari, has said that arrest of his brother Dr Farooq Leghari is not ‘without motive’ and there is a ‘clear foul play’.

Talking to Dawn from Islamabad on Tuesday night, he said that verification of degrees of parliamentarians would be completed in one week. “I am under no pressure. But I will say that there is clearly a foul play to it (arrest of Dr Farooq). There is a motive behind it,” the HEC chief said. When he was told that his sister Dr Najma Leghari in her petition filed in the Hyderabad circuit bench of Sindh High Court had linked the arrest to the fake degree issue, the HEC chairman said: “If they have levelled this allegation then they must have a point to it.”

Four day remand for brother of HEC chairman
By Mohammad Hussain Khan
Wednesday, 14 Jul, 2010

HEC starts to feel the heat

* Commission shows dissatisfaction regarding universities’ verification processes
* PU, Sindh University not able to meet HEC’s deadline for verifying parliamentarians’ degrees

By Adnan Lodhi

LAHORE: The arrest of Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Javaid Leghari’s younger brother Farooq Leghari and the ‘non-cooperative attitude’ of some universities have put the HEC left feeling the heat, thus creating doubts that the verification process of parliamentarians’ degrees will not be completed in the coming months.

However, the most disappointing event this week has been the dissatisfaction and reservation expressed by the HEC regarding the verification processes being carried out by some varsities, with the commission having sent back various degrees to universities for re-evaluation. According to the HEC, some universities have been unable to verify the degrees according to the commission’s criteria.

According to educational experts, certain elements not in favour of the verification exercise have been seemingly successful in hindering the process, subsequently forcing the HEC chairman to seek help from Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to resolve various matters and hurdles in the verification process.

On the pretext of his brother’s arrest, and due to pressure from parliamentarians, there are rumors that the HEC chairman may possibly be submitting his resignation to the prime minister. According to sources, the HEC chairman had been receiving threats from some parliamentarians from Sindh and he had, in this connection, written a letter to the prime minister, who thereafter showed his willingness to meet the chairman.

The PM stated that there was no pressure on the HEC chairman from the government and the government would not allow “corrupt parliamentarians” and fake degree holders to be successful in their agendas. The dilemma, however, is that if the HEC chairman actually decides to quit, it is expected that no other official will take the position and stand against these corrupt elements, depriving the Election Commission of Pakistan of its desired results.\07\19\story_19-7-2010_pg7_36

Support the HEC

Friday, July 16, 2010

According to press reports, Farooq Leghari, the brother of HEC Chairman Dr Javed Leghari, is being indicted for acquiring public assets when he was working as a DCO. Can the government do a favour to the people of Pakistan by providing a list of civilian and military officers who have not acquired any public assets during their tenures?

Dr Najeeb A. Khan



I appeal to all citizens and the academia to come to the aid of the HEC, which is under intense pressure not to give the factual details of the fake-degree holders. The arrest of the HEC chairman’s brother is a shameful act used to intimidate Dr Leghari. I salute him for his courage and uprightness. I request the VCs and professors of all universities to resign as a mark of protest against the arm-twisting techniques being used by the government against the HEC.

This is what really happens when fraudulent and criminal people come into parliament. All those parliamentarians who have fake degrees, dual nationalities or false asset declarations should be tried and put into jail.

Junaid R Qureshi



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