ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly and Senate standing committees on Interior met separately here on Wednesday, but both meetings were marked by protests against the absence of Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan from the two committees meeting
Members of three mainstream political parties walked out of the meeting over the interior minister’s continued absence from the Senate standing committee on Interior. Senator Aajiz Dhamra of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was the first to protest.
He suggested that before announcing a token walkout, a letter should be sent to the prime minister briefing him about the about undeclared boycott” of the Committee’s meeting by the minister, Shahi Syed of ANP and retired Col. Tahir Mashhadi also joined him.
During the meeting of the National Assembly’s standing committee on Interior, MQM’s Nabeel Gabol protested against the interior minister’s absence. He also proposed the adoption of a resolution to condemn the minister’s attitude towards the parliamentary committees.
The Senate Standing Committee on Interior asked the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to investigate alleged fraud in the issuance of CNICs to some aliens including nationals of India, Bangladesh and Iran.
Senate committee chairman alleges that Nadra database has been hacked
Committee Chairman Senator Talha Mehmood claimed that the Nadra database had been hacked in connivance with some officials of the authority and CNICs had been issued to aliens which included agents of Indian spy agency RAW and militant organization Hizbullah.
He said most of the cases took place in Karachi and called for a probe against Nadra officials in Karachi.
Acting Chairman Nadra Imtiaz Tajwar ruled out such a possibility saying that the Nadra had a completely secure system having multi-tier security checks, but assured to hold an inquiry and report back to the committee.
He disclosed attempts to hack Nadra database were made on daily basis from United States, India and Israel, but said the system was too strong to thwart such attempts.
It was disclosed during the meeting that China had threatened to withdraw from all ongoing projects if the safe city project was not executed through Huawei.
Nadra also gave a detailed briefing to the committee on the $124 million Safe City Project.
Member (Finance) Nadra Shahid Hamid told the meeting that the work on Safe City Project had been started including installation of demo surveillance system at four points of the city, construction of demo control and command system.
He said that construction of command control building for the project had been stared at Sector H-11 and the project would be completed by June 2015.
Nadra said that 1,900 security cameras would be installed under the project and 500 kilomter fiber optic would be laid in the city for the project. The committee was informed that NADRA had revised the agreement and Hauwai had agreed to give additional equipment including 400 security cameras with the same money that was intially agreed in the project.
The company would provide latest high resolution cameras that was earlier not agreed in the project, acting chairman Nadra said. The meeing was informed that the higest price of each camera (HV Dom) was 3709 dollar and te lowest price (IR Box camera) was of 819 dollar. The consultatnt of international reputation would be hired to ascertain the qulity of work and instrument installed in the prject.
The committee showed its reservations over the signing of a loan agreement with the China for the project that had been awarded to Huawei Technologies, a Chinese company. The committee said that project was not awarded in a transparent manner and the security system including cameras being installed in the capital were being bought from Huawei at much exorbitant rates than the market value.
Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2014