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Nadra to look into blocked CNICs, says chairman

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Usman Mubin says some refugees who had accepted money in exchange for voluntary repatriation to Afghanistan, returned and applied for CNICs
Usman Mubin says some refugees who had accepted money in exchange for voluntary repatriation to Afghanistan, returned and applied for CNICs

LAHORE: A day after Pakhtuns staged a demonstration in front of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence here, National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) Chairman Usman Mobin rushed to the city on Sunday to address non-issuance of their computerised national identity cards (CNICs).

The protesters complained that the last PML-N government had cancelled CNICs of thousands of Pakhtuns calling them Afghan nationals and they were facing problems, including enrollment of their children in schools. They demanded that the prime minister intervene and solve their problems.

On this, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the Nadra chairman to meet and resolve the protesters’ issues.

On Mr Mobin’s arrival in the Nadra head office, a number of people complained to him that the staff straight away refused to listen to their problems and asked them to leave the office.

Mr Mobin said there had been an issue of over 150,000 CNICs (blocked ones).

He said a special centre would be set up soon to address this problem.

He said three main reasons were behind the blocking of the CNICs — one, Afghan nationals were falsely declared as family members of those settled in Pakistan so that they could be issued CNICs.

When property disputes arose among them it transpired that they were not related to them and, therefore, their cards were blocked.

He said some refugee families, who had accepted money in exchange for voluntary repatriation to Afghanistan, returned to Pakistan and applied for CNICs.

Similarly, he said some citizens retained Afghan passports while holding Pakistani CNICs which were blocked later. He said this issue was 40 years old and could not be resolved in a day.

Nadra has scrutinised the ‘suspect CNICs’ since 2015 and blocked thousands of such cards. Nadra claims that most of the holders of the blocked CNICs are not Pakistanis, but Afghans.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2018