AFTER using all manner of indirect ploys to sabotage the judiciary and investigations into corruption, including fake degrees, President Asif Ali Zardari has revealed his intent directly of opposing the expose of fake degrees and all other corruption charges against the elected representatives. Hiding behind the faade of democracy, his argument is extremely simple: that it is the people alone who have the right to elect their representatives. His logic is of course that if people have chosen to elect corrupt people or forgers, then that verdict must be respected and these people must be allowed to complete their term. From this logic he has proceeded to conclude that the elected assemblies and governments will complete their five year tenure. Unfortunately the Presidents argument is equally simple to understand in its absurdity. After all, the reason one has election laws and eligibility conditionalities is to ensure that the corrupt do not come before the people as candidates even - let alone get elected. That is why when someone is found having given false information he has to be liable for prosecution and disqualification. Otherwise all manner of rogues, thieves and even killers would be contesting elections through fair means or foul and we know only too well that in this country getting elected is not always related directly to ones popularity or credibility but to money and influence and oftentimes even terror. However more to the point is that the issue is not simply about educational qualifications in the fake degree cases. The argument that you have to be a graduate to deem yourself worthy of contesting elections was never relevant in the first place as many formally uneducated but wise people have been elected and done their country proud. The real issue in the context of fake degrees is the forgery that was attempted, revealing a corrupt and deceitful mindset. And, according to the Constitution, forgery is also a reflection of corruption and so anyone with a fake degree cannot contest elections - as that would be a violation of the constitution. It was shocking to see the Balochistan Chief Minister, declare that a degree was a degree, whether genuine or fake. This is not only an insult to those who actually have gone through the educational grind to acquire their degrees but is a shameful condoning of corruption. Now the President, whose own degree has been a matter of debate, has also stepped in to condone corruption while occupying the highest office of the land. Is it any wonder that today our leaders are making us a laughing stock before the world and humiliating the nation at every turn?