PIA fires 300 employees for having fake degrees

* More than 30,000 degrees of over 16,000 personnel under scrutiny

ISLAMABAD: More than 30,000 educational degrees of over 16,000 employees of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) are under the process of verification in pursuance of a Supreme Court order, the management of the national flag carrier said on Friday.
So far, the verification of 6,000 employees’ educational degrees has been completed, of which 350 have been found guilty of submitting fake documents, a PIA spokesman said.
“Consequently, action has been taken against 300 employees, whereas the cases of 50 personnel are pending with the courts,” he said. 
“In compliance with the instructions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the PIA has been vigorously pursuing the issue of credential verifications of its employees. This gigantic task of verification of credentials of around 16,000 employees was taken up by the PIA’s Human Resource Administration Department six months ago (in October, 2013),” Mashhood Tajwar, the PIA spokesman, told journalists.
“The verification process is going on in a very transparent manner across the board, encompassing all categories and groups of employees without any discrimination,” he claimed. It was informed that more than 30,000 degrees had so far been dispatched to the educational institutions concerned (universities and boards) for verification. “The process of dispatching the remaining 3,000 degrees will be completed by the mid of April,” he said. 
“The verification result of more than 6,000 degrees has been received, and out of that 350 degrees were found fake. As per the instructions of the Supreme Court, prompt action was taken against the fake degree holders. In the light of new findings, the services of 300 employees have been terminated, whereas the remaining 50 cases are sub judice and courts’ decisions are awaited for further action,” he said.
He said that the PIA had expedited the task of verification, however, appropriate action could only be initiated once the replies from the universities or boards concerned were received.
In the backdrop of the reports that thousands of government employees were fake degree holders, the SC had ordered the government institutions, including the PIA, to have the degrees of their staff verified and submit a compliance report in the court accordingly.

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