US has not raised concerns over Axact fake degrees issue: Pakistan FO

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Islamabad | Published: May 21, 2015 7:08:08 PM

Pakistan spokesman Qazi M. Khalilullah on Thursday said that the United States has not raised any concerns over the IT company Axact's alleged fake degrees scam.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Qazi M. Khalilullah on Thursday said that the United States has not raised any concerns over the IT company Axact’s alleged fake degrees scam.

Answering questions at his weekly news briefing on allegations levelled by the New York Times against Axact, Khalilullah said no foreign country, including the United States, has raised any concern over the issue.

He said Pakistani agencies were investigating the accusations against Axact upon directions of the Interior Ministry.

“Investigations are underway and we have to wait for their completion,” the spokesman said.

On Wednesday, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has reportedly asked The New York Times not to draw any premature conclusions on the Axact Group’s fake degree case before the inquiry is completed.

Talking to media here, Khan was quoted by the Dawn, as saying that it was not possible for Axact to run the fake degree business without the consent of the Pakistan Government.

He, however, promised a transparent, open and comprehensive inquiry into the charges and advised the NYT not to pronounce judgment prematurely.

He also appealed to domestic media to avoid hype and labelling someone as a culprit without any evidence of wrongdoing, because it could affect the probe’s outcome.

He said that the Axact CEO and other relevant people would be questioned on the basis of notices issued to the company.

He also said Axact CEO Shoaib A. Sheikh has not been placed on the exit control list (ECL), saying that a procedure for placing somebody’s name on the list had been laid down and the procedure would be followed in all cases.

The Express Tribune quoted him, as saying that the government is willing to enlist the help of foreign experts, if required, to investigate the Axact fake degrees scam.

The multimillion-dollar fraud was exposed through a special report in the New York Times ( NYT), following which the minister directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to take up the Karachi-based case.

The government has directed the Federal Board of Revenue and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to provide all relevant information on the company to FIA investigators, Khan said.

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