ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) could not make public on Saturday its anxiously awaited decision on the fate of 14 ex-lawmakers suspected to be fake degree-holders, apparently due to the ‘complexities’ involved in the matter.
Earlier on Friday, the commission had reserved judgement against those 12 former Members of Parliament (MPs) the veracity of whose degrees was not confirmed by the Higher Education Commission.
A total of 24 parliamentarians appeared before the electoral body in connection with the fake degrees issue in the last couple of days. Of them, the commission has cleared nine, reserved judgement against the remaining 14 on Saturday while it has summoned one ex-MP, Petanber Sewani, on the coming Thursday.
Despite daylong proceedings on Friday and Saturday, the ECP decision on the fate of the said ex-legislators could not come out, reportedly due to the ‘sensitivity’ of the matter and ‘complexities’ involved in it.
Reportedly, the ECP bench comprising of the chief election commissioner and all the four members election commission (MECs) is writing detailed comments about every former MP of the lot of 14. “That’s why it’s taken so long for the decision to see the light of the day,” ECP officials believe.
On Friday, a HEC representative, who was present in the ECP courtroom to confirm the authenticity of the 24 former Parliamentarians’ degrees or otherwise, had confirmed verification of the nine ex-lawmakers: Gul Muhammad Lot, Dr Israr Hussain, Muhammad Shafeeq Gujjar, Syed Ameer Ali Shah Jamoot, Ghulam Sarwar Sial, Lieutenant Colonel (r) Shujaat Ahmed, Waseem Afzal Gondal, Haji Omar Gorgage and Syed Ashiq Hussain. Following this, the ECP had reserved decision on the 12 politicians of the total 15 as three former MPs: Seemal Kamran, Nawabzada Tariq Magsi and Muhammad Akbar had sought time till Friday to have their degrees verified by the HEC. Their requests were entertained. The degrees’ verification of the 12 ex-parliamentarians: Petanber Sewani, Rana Ejaz Ahmed Noon, Bashir Ahmed Khan, Mukesh Kumar, Shabina Khan, Shumaila Rana, Samina Khawar Hayat, Robina Khan, Nawabzada Mir Nadir Magsi, Rehana Yahya Baloch, Mir Mohabbat Khan Mari and Mir Israrullah Zehri was not confirmed by the HEC representative.
Petanber Sewani, on Saturday, informed the ECP that she had sent her matriculation and intermediate certificates for verification from the educational boards concerned and they would be verified by next week. Upon this, the ECP asked her to appear on the coming Thursday (April 11).
The issuance of the decision on the remaining 14 politicians is awaited while it is not clear if Seemal Kamran, Tariq Magsi and Muhammad Akbar have got a clean chit from the HEC or their degrees are under scrutiny.
Meanwhile, the HEC till Saturday, cleared the degrees of 80 former lawmakers while 101 ex-MPs did not have their degrees verified. The scrutiny of some politicians’ degrees is pending who are suspected of having fake educational credentials. They include Manzoor Wattoo, Faisal Saleh Hayat, Gulzar Ahmed, Sanaullah Zehri and Rukhsana Bangash. Those politicians whose degrees have been verified include Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Khursheed Shah, Javed Hashmi, Samsam Bokhari, Talha Mehmood, Afrasyab Khattak, Mehreen Anwar Raja and others. Those politicians who did not have their degrees verified by the HEC and are believed to be fake degrees-holders include Nadia Gabol, Mufti Kifayatullah, Atia Inayatullah, Shahnaz Shaikh, Mehboobullah Jan, Fozia Begum, Nelson Azeem, Abdul Razaq, Sanaullah Mastikhel, Abdul Rahim Mandokhel, Dilawar Shah, Mian Abdul Haq and Gul Naseeb Khan. 
The HEC on Saturday declared as fake the degrees of former Federal Minister Shaikh Waqas Akram and Yasir Raza, former Member Provincial Assembly.