ISLAMABAD: In a damning indictment of Pakistan’s latest education minister Sheikh Waqas Akram, the Cambridge Education System (CES) of the UK has declared his A-level certificate as fake.
This puts a huge question mark on the veracity of his BA degree as well as his political future.A new entrant to the PML-N, Waqas had the audacity to defend his fake certificates on the floor of the National Assembly, claiming that he did his A-level in 1995 and his certificate was verified by Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC).
However, investigations carried out by The News confirmed that his IBCC Equivalence certificates as well as its verification certificates were also fabricated.According to documents available with The News, the chief executive of the Cambridge Education System (CES) Ann Punits has confirmed that Waqas Akram’s certificate cannot be verified from the CES record. Following is the text of Ann Punit’s letter.
“We write in response to your recently submitted request for verification of examination certificate and results for Mr Waqas Akram (June 1995, Candidate number PK200/1029 and Certificate Number 4699165). Thank you for providing the enclosed scanned copy of the certificate. Having searched our records we must advise you that we are unable to match the number of this certificate with details supplied. If the person presenting the certificate wishes to provide further details, we will of course be happy to undertake a further search. Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.”
The News first published the story titled “Minister did BA without FA” on March 2. The former education minister was not immediately available but in an earlier 1,025-word rebuttal on March 7, he stated that he never did his FA, but cleared A Level examination in three subjects in 1995 and obtained the IBCC equivalence certificate the same year.
“It is stated that the minister in 1995 passed the GCE A Level exams in three required subjects from the University of Cambridge International Examination (UK). The minister applied to the Inter Board Committee of Chairmen, Government of Pakistan, for issuance of equivalence certificate, which was provided by the IBCC dated 15.12.1995. The equivalence certificate issued by the Inter Board Committee of Chairmen, again has been verified by the IBCC dated 11.08.2010,” Waqas had stated in his clarification.
However, as the saying goes in Urdu, “in order to hide one lie, you have to speak a hundred lies”, it turned out that the former education minister’s IBCC equivalence certificate is also forged as it bears the signature of Dr Parveen Shahid as Secretary IBCC.
The News verified from the IBCC records as well as family sources of Dr Parveen that the officer only had a short stint with the IBCC as secretary after the year 2000.
Investigations also revealed that in 1995, Dr Parveen was a junior officer in Grade-18 while the IBCC secretary was a Grade-20 post. Apparently, the fake IBCC certificate was created after copying the contents of some genuine certificate issued after 2000 when Dr Parveen was serving as the secretary IBCC.
The ‘artists’ who fabricated the document failed to check Dr Parveen’s tenure in IBCC.Similarly, the IBCC verification certificate that according to Waqas was issued on August 11, 2010 also appears to be forged as Muhammad Usman Khan, assistant secretary of IBCC whose signatures appear on the ‘verification certificate’ also denies having signed the document.
According to official sources, Usman is ready to testify before the court of law that the document is not genuine.Contrary to the ex-minister’s claims of appearing in the Punjab University’s Bachelor’s degree examination on the basis of A Levels, his BA admission form available with The News shows that Waqas had only mentioned passing the intermediate examination from the Lahore Board with the roll number 11097.
These revelations can damage the political future of the former education minister, who has changed three parties during the last five years. Waqas faces disqualification by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) under articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, which require a candidate to be honest and sagacious.