Thousands of Pakistani NICs issued to foreigners in Balochistan
QUETTA: In violation of rules and regulations, National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) officials have issued thousands of National Identity Cards (NIC) to foreigners especially Afghan nationals in Balochistan.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has arrested two officers who were involved in issuing fake NICs.
"We have arrested two officers for issuance of NICs to foreigners," Syed Khalid Iqbal, the Director General NAB Balochistan told Dawn.com via telephone.
However, he stated that it was the responsibly of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe into the issuance of NICs to foreigners.
"We are investigating into the issuance of 1000 NICs," Assistant Director FIA, Sultan Afridi told Dawn.com.
Most of the NICs were issued from Quetta, Mastung, Noshki and Dhadar, Afridi informed.
"We have written a letter to Nadra regarding the involvement of three of its officers," he said.
The FIA will take action against the officers after getting permission from Nadra as per the law, which forbids the agency from taking action without the authority's consent.
Mounting public pressure and an investigation by anti-corruption institutions prompted Nadra to block thousands of suspicious NICs in Balochistan.
An officer in Nadra, who requested anonymity, told Dawn.com that currently the authority has blocked 31,000 NICs over suspicion of being fake.
"We have blocked the NICs since we have suspicion that they were issued to foreigners," he said.
The government has established a committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner Quetta, Abdul Latif Kakar for verification of blocked NICs.
"So far we have verified over 1,000 blocked NICs," Kakar said. He further emphasised that all efforts were being made to block NICs of foreigners.
Many people in Balochistan complain that locals go through a long verification process and suffer difficulties in acquisition of NICs.
On the other hand, foreigners in general and Afghans in particular, manage to get the cards by paying money.
"Grease the palm of Nadra officials and then get the card," says Shams Mandokhail, a human rights activist.
Sources in Nadra told Dawn.com, that per card was being issued from Rs50,000 to Rs2 lakh in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.
They acknowledged that Nadra officials were involved in the issuance of fake NICs.
"Without the consent of Nadra no one can get the card," they added.