Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi, President of Pakistan Awami Tehreek, has said that lack of submission of original degree at the time of filing of nomination papers by the candidates is a form of ‘collusion or deal-making’ between the government and the Election Commission. The demonstration of lenient attitude by the Commission on the verification of degrees was not only tantamount to putting an important issue at the backburner but was also in violation of the Supreme Court’s order.
Dr Raheeq Abbasi said that more than 14,000 candidates filed their nominations papers with the ECP on the basis of BA degrees in the last elections. He said that it was incumbent on the ECP to get their degrees verified before the announcement of the Election schedule. He said that those, whose degrees were proven as fake, should be barred from taking part in elections this year. He added that it was after settlement of these issues that the ECP would be able to attend to other matters such as pre-poll scrutiny of candidates ad per demands of Articles 62 and 63.
PAT president said that if the verification of degrees was put off till the announcement of the election schedule, then it might not be possible for the ECP to wind up the job keepin in view the time constraints with the result that the fake degree holders would be elected to the assemblies again. Expressing his surprise, Dr Abbasi asked as to why the ECP failed to get degree of 300 people verified in a period of 3 years, adding how it would finish the verification process of thousands of candidates within two weeks after the announcement of election schedule.