ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission has expressed doubts over the eligibility of 298 lawmakers who have failed to submit documents required for verification of their graduation degrees despite repeated reminders.
Law Minister Babar Awan, PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Leader of Opposition in the Senate Wasim Sajjad, PML-N leader Ishaq Dar, former minister Neelofar Bakhtiar, Afrasiab Khatak, Talha Mehmood and Gul Naseeb Khan and Abdul Rahim Mandokhel are on the list of 21 such members of the upper house.
The names of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Minister for Kashmir Affairs Manzoor Wattoo, Minister for Communications Arbab Alamgir Khan, Minister for Social Welfare Samina Khalid Ghurki, Minister for Narcotics Control Arbab Zahir Khan, Minister for Textiles Rana Farooq Saeed, Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister of State for Education Ghulam Farid Kathia, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mehreen Anwar Raja and Special Assistant to the President Rukhsana Bangash are among 112 members of the National Assembly.
Prominent among the opposition MNAs are Leader of Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, PML-N leaders Javed Hashmi and Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan, former federal ministers Faisal Saleh Hayat, Abdul Qayyum Jatoi and Zahid Hamid and former parliamentary secretary for information Azeem Daultana.
Other MNAs on the list are Kashmala Tariq, Humayun Saifullah Khan, Raza Hayat Hiraj, Dr Attiya Inayatullah, Begum Shahnaz Shaikh, Bushra Rahman, Asma Arbab Alamgir, Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain, Justice (retd) Iftikhar Ahmad Cheema, Engineer Amir Muqam, Munir Khan Orakzai, Mehreen Razzaq Bhutto and Lt General (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch.
The Punjab Assembly has 102 such members, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly 43 and the Sindh and Balochistan assemblies 10 each.
The Election Commission has written letters to the Senate chairman and speakers of the National and provincial assemblies urging them to persuade the legislators to provide the documents to the Higher Education Commission.