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Pakistani Lawmakers Face Scandal Over Fake University Degrees

Pakistan's parliament in Islamabad
Pakistan's parliament in Islamabad
More than 40 Pakistani politicians are in danger of losing their parliament seats after officials opened an inquiry into claims many federal and provincial legislators had lied about their education, RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal reports.

Authorities had originally set July 27 as the deadline for the university degrees of all Pakistani parliamentarians to be checked. But the Higher Education Commission extended the date by two weeks so the verification process could be completed.

It is unclear what will happen to the some 40 politicians whose university diplomas were vetted and found to have been falsified.

In 2002, President Pervez Musharraf introduced the law requiring all candidates in the country's federal and provincial legislatures to hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent of one.

Although the Supreme Court eliminated this requirement in April 2008, those who contested the 2008 polls using fake degrees could still be prosecuted and lose their seats.

In June, the Supreme Court ordered the election commission to vet the credentials of Pakistan's 1,100 federal and provincial legislators.