Former MPA Khalifa Abdul Qayyum has been sentenced to three year in prison and fined Rs: 5000 for possessing a fake degree. He had been elected as an independent candidate during the 2008 general elections from PF-64 Dera city 1 constituency. Mr Qayyum had claimed that his degree issued from Ittihadul Maddaris Al Arabiya in Mardan was equivalent to MA Islamiat.
Dera Ismail Khan’s Additional district and sessions judge Justice Hayat Khan announced the sentence today. Earlier, the Supreme Court had instructed the lower courts to deal with fake degrees issue with expediency.
Supreme Court yesterday also observed in its sue motto case over the HEC’s letter to ECP that those 54 former members of assemblies who had been confirmed as having fake degrees, can been declared as disqualified, by the ECP, for contesting the upcoming general elections. The chief justice of supreme court also gave two day ultimatum to the 189 those ex-parliamentarians who had not submitted their full documents for verification. He ordered them to have their full documents submitted for verification by April 5.
Today’s move of sentencing Mr Abdul Qayyum is a positive step forward. Those who lied on oath obviously do not deserve any sympathy. The courts should hear the cases of these fake degree holders with utmost priority so that no faker get into any assembly again. The supreme court very well summed this issue by saying that those who are illiterate can not be stopped from contesting the elections, however, those having fake degrees must be not be allowed in any way.