ISLAMABAD - The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has forwarded copies of educational degrees of 16 of its officers to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for cross-verification, it has been learnt.

The degrees of the officers were sent by the coordination officer of the CDA to the attestation cell of the HEC for early response. The officers include Habibullah Sheikh, Arif Javed, Khalid Anwar, Mir Hakim Shah, Muhammad Younas Chaudhary, Manzoor Hussain Shah, Khalid Nawaz, Muhammad Asghar Zardari, Khalid Mahmood Asif, Sardar Khan, Muhammad Nauman Sheikh, Zahid Sultan, Faisal Raza Khan, Javaid Ahmed Feroz, Tahir Mahmood and Mashooq Ali Sheikh. Majority of the degrees are of BSc (Civil) engineering and MSc (Civil) engineering.

According to the sources in the CDA, the officers have themselves got their degrees verified by the HEC and submitted report to the CDA and now the authority has decided to get them cross-verified.

The Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education had found educational certificates of four employees of the CDA fake. The Board had conveyed to the CDA high ups about the factual position of 39 photocopies of the educational certificates of different employees. A letter sent by the BISE to the CDA high ups on 15 November last year said that the photocopy of the matriculation certificate of a CDA employee, Noor Akhmat son of Nawab Khan, roll number 17021, year 1979 was tampered with before submitting to CDA for the job.

The BISE concluded that Noor had failed in Urdu with a score 39. However, he erased the word ‘Fail’ from the certificate and submitted it to CDA, according to the BISE. Similarly, the board found to be bogus the educational certificates (Matric certificates) of the three other employees including Muhammad Iqbal son of Mahmood Ali Lodhi, Malik Qaisar Abbas son of Malik Muneer Ahmed and Muzaffar Hussain son of Abdur Rashid.

In Oct 2015, the CDA had also decided to withhold salary of 80 officials for failing to submit their educational credentials for verification. A list of 80 officers was forwarded to the accounts department with a direction not to release their October salary unless they furnish degrees for verification. These officers of BPS-17 and above had failed to submit their degrees with a CDA committee mandated with the task to get their degrees verified by the Higher Education Commission and respective educational Boards despite repeated reminders.

The issue of degrees verification of CDA officers goes back to 2012 when the Cabinet Division had directed the civic agency to verify its officials’ educational credentials. Since then, the CDA issued a number of circulars asking the officials to submit their degrees. The National Accountability Bureau also had taken notice of the issue and directed the civic agency to complete the process at the earliest.  In February 2017, the CDA had issued orders to lodge FIRs against five CDA officials for submission of fake degrees. The FIR was lodged against Qaiser Naseer, Francis Shehzad, Ms. Zuriat Waseem, Akash Masih and Syed Zain ul Abaideen.

However, no disciplinary action has been taken against the forty-eight employees of CDA whose record from the Security Directorate proved that their educational certificates were found fake during verification by the concerned boards and educational institutions concerned.

It is pertinent to mention here that previous attempts to get the degrees verified have met with severe defiance from HR and administration formations. The matter has lingered on for the past 5 years owing to the indifference and lack of interest of said formations. CDA currently has over 16,000 employees but it is moving in circles over degree verification issue.