The issue of fake degrees has taken a nasty turn with Prime Minister Gilani directing the Higher Education Commission Chairman to report directly to the Education Minister. One would have wished that he had given him a pat on the back for bravely doing his job. It is surprising that he, instead, preferred to discourage him. With the Education Minister in charge of the whole affair, accountable to no one, there should be little doubt that the move is aimed at hushing up the matter. Unfortunately, the first order given to the HEC after its Chairman met the Prime Minster was to withdraw its report on fake degrees sent to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education. Reportedly, Education Minister Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali, who is supposed to be working in line with the wishes of PPP leadership, wants certain 'modifications in the report. It is hard to rule out the possibility that the report would be falsified and then presented before the committee. However, on the other side of the spectrum, there is some hope as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Education Abid Sher Ali has vowed to stand by the HEC and has asked the universities to cooperate with it. However, Mr Ali has admitted that on account of his resolve to expose the cheaters, he has to face a lot of pressure even from his own party. The HEC has been playing a laudable role in exposing the parliamentarians with fake degrees and acting in a transparent manner, but it is a crying shame that the government itself intervened and stopped it from doing so. Even the brother of the HEC Chairman had been abducted and all sorts of threats hurled at the family. Does this not reflect poorly on the PPP-led dispensations credibility, its calibre and its tendency to condone corruption in broad daylight? And precisely because of this mindset, one would understand why the government has been brazenly defying the Supreme Courts verdict on NRO.