Federal Minister disqualified over fake degree

KARACHI: The PML-N’s federal government suffered a blow as the federal Minister for production and one of the parliament’s electoral reforms committee members, Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi, lost his ministry and the national seat on Monday.

The Election tribunal in Karachi Monday declared his victory in May 11 elections as null and void for contesting polls on fake degree in 2002.

As the political climate has reached to highest degree in the capital due to campaign against the alleged polls rigging, the judgment of the Karachi tribunal comes as a serious blow to the PML-N federal Government.

Having contested elections on National Peoples Party seats, Jatoi along other party’s mates merged NPP into the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz.

Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi of the National People’s Party Parliamentarians had secured the seat NA-211 (Naushehro Feroz-I) by bagging 83960 votes while his closest contender was the Pakistan People’s party Zulfiqar Ali Behan who was polled 67338 votes.

Later, the PPPP’s Zulfiqar Ali Behan challenged his victory in the Karachi election tribunal which while finding proofs of his dishonesty by contesting polls on fake degree, de-seated him.

The tribunal of former justice Zafar Ahmed Sherwani ordered the election body to issue notification of the runner-up PPP’s Zulfiqar Ali as returned candidate.

While announcing the judgment, Justice Zafar Sherwani stated that since the degree Ghulam Murtaza Bhutto had submitted in 2002 polls was fake, he were no more Sadiq and Ameen and thus not eligible for contesting polls.

Besides having secured the portfolio of production in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif cabinet, Jatoi was recently nominated as member of the 33-member electoral reforms committee headed by federal minister Ishaq Dar.