Karachi University (UoK) recently conferred a Law PhD degree upon Sharmila Faruqui, a prominent figure in the Pakistan Peoples Party, despite her absence from the program’s entrance examination.

A number of media outlets have reported that Sharmila was among the 12 individuals who successfully completed the examination. Karachi University announced the results of the exam. Curiously, the politician did not participate in the examination.

Justice (R) Ghaus Muhammad, the dean of Karachi University’s Law Department, informed a reputable newspaper that Sharmila had indeed submitted the necessary forms for the entrance test. However, she was unable to appear for the exam due to her pregnancy, adhering to her doctor’s advice.

The academic administrator disclosed, “Faruqui presented a medical certificate along with an application requesting an exemption from physical presence.”

He went on to reveal that the former late Vice-Chancellor of Karachi University, Dr Ajmal Khan, and the then head of the admission committee Prof Dr Ahmad Qadri, were apprised of the politician’s situation. Consequently, permission was granted for her to take the exam from the hospital.

As part of this arrangement, four other PhD scholars were reportedly present during the occasion. An oral assessment was conducted using a mobile phone to evaluate Faruqui’s performance, as reported by Daily Jang.

The dean of the Law department further extended a challenge, stating that the matter could be taken to legal avenues if necessary. He emphasized that the entrance test was conducted following established protocols.

“Sharmila had previously completed her LLB degree even while incarcerated, and there exists no prohibition against participating in examinations from a hospital setting,” the educator affirmed.

This clarification follows days of assertions by numerous lawyers claiming that the PPP leader had not taken part in the exams, despite her reported success.

While the university administration cites health reasons for this unusual circumstance, lawyers express doubts about the situation. They suggest that the preferential treatment extended to the lawmaker was driven by underlying motives, implying that this special concession was aimed at securing support from relevant quarters, including the Higher Education Commission.

This move is viewed within the context of ongoing institutional challenges and internal disputes at Karachi University.

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