Already known for plagiarism and sexual harassment of women, the University of Peshawar has been in news lately for another case of mock exam and issuance of degrees in violation of all rules. The degree of a young parliamentarian, Murad Saeed, has been revealed a result of special makeup exam held for him in particular against university rules.
Saeed, a member of the Pakistan’s National Assembly (MNA), i.e., a federal legislator, was reportedly failing to pass some courses required for his degree – without the degree, he would be ineligible for running for the parliament elections. But after well over a year of remaining in the parliament and hailed as a model lawmaker for youth, the news of his fast-tracked degree has caused ripples in the media that used to invite him for his views and promoted him as a model.
At the same time, the issue has also brought to light the academic and administrative corruption rampant in Peshawar University where politically connected students and teachers get special consideration even to the point of fast-tracked degrees while those trying to follow study or career honestly are victimized. The seriousness of this issue can hardly be overstated.
The fact that Saeed has not stepped up to show proof of valid credentials after the allegations and instead went to the court suggests that he has no proof to show publicly. Courts in Pakistan are infamous for issuing verdicts that are open to sale and influence by political, religious, and commercial sources. Will there be serious, and strict action taken against the perpetrators for forgery and deceit leading to public office? Given it’s Pakistan, it’s not very likely. One can only hope for accountability.