New day, new issue – by Ahmed Iqbalabadi

Angry Young Man of Pakistan's journalism

Our dearest friend, Ansar Abbasi, is always on the lookout of ways to embarrass the political system and political leaders. He was the one who was the architect of last year’s circus of “Fake Degrees”. The pretext of the circus was to discredit the political leadership and have one more reason to send the system packing. If one recalls and goes through the conquering speeches of dictators, governor generals and presidents, corruption, bad governance and political instability are always cited as reasons. This time the likes of Ansar Abbasi and his gang at Jang/Geo thought of including the “fake degrees” as a rationale, that parliamentarians and lawmakers are not truthful , to pack up the system. The fake degrees saga had come to a halt after surprisingly a very small number of degrees were found as fake.

On January 10, 2011, Jang ran a story on its back page titled “Election Commission Matric aur Inter kay asal certificates pesh na karnay walay arkaan ko graduate tasleem na karay – HEC”. Off course, this was alarming news as I know for sure that all candidates in elections only provide their graduation degrees copies as annexure. In the scrutiny process that follows, the returning officer can ask for viewing the original degree, however, at times that doesn’t happen. Never have I heard that matric and intermediate certificates are to be submitted. In the 2001 Local Bodies elections, there was a requirement that contestants for the position of Nazim and Naib Nazim should at least be matriculates. It may also be noted that the whole report was based on “sources” and not on a press release or a notification by the HEC.

Now having read the news item, I could expect a new storm being prepared. In today’s report in Jang, Ansar Abbasi has investigated that 304 members of Parliament haven’t submitted their matric and inter certificates because of which the process of degree verification has been stalled.

Ansar Abbasi's "Report" on matric and inter certificates

If I may dare ask, how many people keep a track of where their original matric and inter certificates are? I for one have never taken out my intermediate certificate as only the marks sheets for the two years were needed to apply for admission in a top university of Pakistan. Similarly, the matric certificate was needed most for my NIC process. It may be noted that the spelling of your name and date of birth mentioned on the matric certificate is considered as authentic.

What is the purpose of this charade? Further embarrass parliamentarians and cause the focus to be moved to a new non issue? What will be next in the line of endless verifications? Birth Certificates, Nikahnamas and Immunization records? There has to be a limit to absurdity!



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