By: Tariq Butt
ISLAMABAD: While lawmakers dubiously take pride in possessing fake degrees, getting or giving out of the way favours to their cronies and exploiting their positions, a female novice among them has earned a rare distinction that is reserved only for exceptional people.
Ayesha Raza Farooq stands out for her academic brilliance as she topped the final examination of the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.), announced a few weeks back by the Punjab University. Not only this, she had also captured the first positions in the examinations for the first and second years of the professional qualification. The LL.B. degree requires three years study and an equal number of annual examinations.
Ayesha was elected member of the National Assembly on the reserved women’s seat on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ticket along with others after the May general elections.
Currently, she is abroad as part of a parliamentary delegation, led by National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, to attend a conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.Ayesha is the widow of Raza Farooq, who suddenly died at a relatively young age a few years back due to cardiac arrest. He had served as the Advocate General of Punjab.
Raza Farooq was the son of former Attorney General Chaudhry Mohammad Farooq, who was brother of Justice (retd) Khalilur Rehman Ramday, and Chaudhry Asadur Rehman, who was elected as MNA on the PML-N ticket from his native Toba Tek Singh in the last general polls.
As luck would have it, Ayesha’s late husband was also the gold medallist of the LL.B. examination held way back in 1992, according to Justice Ramday.The lady did her MBA from the Lahore University of Management (LUMS). She had been teaching at the Lahore School of Economics.
After her spouse died, Justice Ramday’s son, Mustafa, who is now Advocate General of Punjab, suggested to her to do the LL.B. She agreed and started attending evening classes, and excelled. Her father had served in the income tax department while her mother was a professor at the Fatima Jinnah Medical College Lahore.
Her family sources said that when she was preparing for the final law examination and appearing in it, she was also busy in meeting the mandatory requirements like filing of nomination papers etc., to indirectly contest the special seat. Later, she had also to rush to Islamabad again and again for the elections of the speaker and the prime minister.
It may be the first time that a sitting lawmaker consecutively topped a professional examination. On the other hand, there have been many instances to show that several legislators, government servants and lawyers got bogus degrees through fraudulent means. Cases of a large number of present and former lawmakers are still pending in courts in connection with their fake educational certificates.
At the same time, there are also examples to cite where a legislator used unfair means in educational examinations. In addition, different lawmakers have been found trying to overawe others unlawfully. Ayesha’s academic career especially her position in the LL.B. examinations is certainly a clear departure from the humdrum routine.