ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan dismissed on Tuesday as baseless an allegation about transfer of thousands of votes in NA-122 by the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) without the consent of the voters concerned prior to the high-profile by-election in the constituency.
Addressing a press conference after launching a system of home delivery of passports, a new online Pakistan origin card and family registration certificate at the Nadra headquarters, the minister said Nadra was an implementing and not activating authority and the allegation regarding transfer of votes should be taken up with the Election Commission.
“Attempts to deride a national institution and compromise its credibility must stop,” he said. He regretted that certain elements were defaming national institutions for personal reasons. “There should be a limit to levelling allegations and distorting facts.”
Chaudhry Nisar said those now finding faults with Nadra were keeping quiet when the authority had become a recruitment agency for the then government and thousands of people were employed in it in violation of the principles of merit. In those days, he alleged, not only bogus computerised national identity cards were issued to Afghan, Indian and Bangladeshi nationals in large numbers, but foreigners were also inducted in Nadra.
He said that about 200 employees of the authority had been suspended and many of them arrested for issuing fake CNICs to aliens and 85,000 such cards had been blocked.
The minister, however, said he was not satisfied with the pace of anti-corruption drive within Nadra and wanted to see more vigour in it. “Corruption and Nadra cannot go together. This is unacceptable.”
Claiming that it was almost impossible now to get a fake CNIC, he said a compliant had been received from an individual about the Nadra record showing three strangers as his sons. He said the names had been deleted from the record and action ordered against those behind the illegal exercise.
On the basis of the fake record, he added, passports had also been issued to the three individuals and it was found that they had proceeded abroad. Their passports have been cancelled and names placed on the exit control list.
The minister said home delivery of passports would start in Rawalpindi and Islamabad on Wednesday and the service would be available across the country over the next four months.
He said Nadra would set up fully equipped executive centres in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Rawalpindi over the next four months to provide efficient passport- and CNIC-related services to people. Four such centres will also be set up in other cities in the next phase.
Chaudhry Nisar also announced a plan to launch in foreign countries online visa service. He said that vested interests were resisting the initiative which would close the doors for corruption and money-making for them and would marginalise the agent mafia.
Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2015