Politicians outraged by degree bar
Nasrullah calls it violation of human rights PML-QA to move Supreme Court JI says the order won’t affect party
ISLAMABAD: President Pervez Musharraf outraged opposition politicians on Sunday by issuing an overnight order banning anyone without a university degree from standing in the upcoming general election.
Nawabzada Nasrullah, chairman of the 15-party Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD) said the new law, which will disqualify a large number of current politicians from standing, was a “violation of the basic human rights and norms of democracy.”
“The October elections will not be fair, free and transparent if restrictions were imposed on politicians,” he said.
“It is only voters’ right to reject a candidate,” he said.
The new law is the country’s first educational restriction on politicians and is opposed by several parties, some of whom have threatened to challenge it in court.
Reports said more than 25 former MPs from the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) faction, which supports Musharraf, would not be able to contest the election.
A similar situation is faced by the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N). The PML-Q has decided to challenge the condition in the supreme court. The main fundamentalist Jamaat-i-Islami said the party has enough educated candidates not to be affected by the new law.
“We have all types of people, educated as well as members of the rural community in our party,” Jamaat spokesman said.
On going to court he said: “So far we have not taken a stand on the new law.” Millat Party secretary general Muhammad Ali Durrani said the rule-change would foster an educated leadership but would turn off voters. —AFP