ISLAMABAD: After confirmation of his identity, the body of the slain Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour has been sent to Afghanistan for burial, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan announced on Tuesday.
The minister said that the body was handed over to a close relative of Mansour after their relationship was verified through a DNA test.
Speaking to reporters during a briefing at the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), the interior minister rejected criticism of the delay in confirming Mullah Mansour’s identity, saying that DNA testing took time.
He also revealed that Ghulam Mohammad Bugti, a former district registration officer from Qila Saifullah, had been arrested for issuing Mansour’s first identity card in 2002. An official from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) who tried to secure Pakistani citizenship for Mansour’s second wife and children in 2011 had also been arrested, he said.
The minister insisted that the drone had attacked from across the border, as per an official report by Pakistan Air Force, adding that the PAF’s radars had not detected any infiltration of Pakistani airspace.
Talking about Nadra’s plans to re-verify the CNICs of all Pakistani citizens, the minister disclosed that certain other “dangerous aliens”, who were issued Pakistani identification papers, had also been discovered. However, he did not share their names or nationalities.
He said that the areas with the highest proportion of irregularities — that have already been identified — would be the primary targets during the re-verification exercise. An official told Dawn that Qila Abdullah was one of these areas.
The minister also announced a reward of Rs10,000 for information on confirmed aliens using fake Pakistani CNICs, adding that the informer’s identity would be protected at all costs.
He called fake identity papers “a threat to Pakistan’s security” and appealed to Nadra employees to point out any fraudulent changes in the database, adding that those who came forward would not be investigated for their role in the irregularity so detected.
But after a two-month amnesty period, those using fraudulently-issued CNICs and passports, as well as Nadra and passport office staff responsible for the fraud would face severe action.
In the second phase of re-verification, which he said would begin after three months, text messages would be sent to 105 million individuals to weed out amendments to their family trees.
When asked about the registration of Afghan refugees, the minister said he opposed the idea of registering all Afghans illegally residing in Pakistan, saying this might help them obtain documents that would prolong their illegal stay in Pakistan. Apart from three million Afghan refugees, he said there were between 1.5 and 2 million illegal Afghans living in Pakistan.
Admitting that Pakistan had to abide by international conventions, he made it clear that refugees could not simply be picked up and thrown across the border.
Chaudhry Nisar said he was trying to work out a mechanism, in collaboration with the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions, to provide monetary benefits to those who agreed to return voluntarily and called for the implementation of a robust border management system, as well as the erection of a fence that would hamper attempts at illegal border crossing.
The interior minister’s monologue also included a lengthy response to opposition leaders Imran Khan and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. He regretted that both leaders had not demonstrated political maturity and seriousness at a time when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was receiving medical treatment in the UK.
“The remarks made by the two party heads have disappointed me,” he told reporters after chairing a Nadra board meeting later in the day.
He wondered if it was necessary to issue daily statements about the prime minister who was in the operating theatre and expressed his disappointment with the message the two parties were sending the world.
“Bilawal is [still] a child and has yet to learn ethics, but his elders too lack morality and therefore cannot teach him,” he quipped.
Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2016