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50pc out-of-district cases rejected by Nadra offices, says DG

Updated March 20, 2019

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About 0.1pc of CNICs blocked, Nadra head tells NA standing committee. — APP/File
About 0.1pc of CNICs blocked, Nadra head tells NA standing committee. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) offices reject nearly 50pc of all out-of-district cases, in violation of the law, the authority’s director general told parliamentarians on Tuesday.

“We have issued written instructions a number of times that a Pakistani born in a district near Siachen can renew his CNIC from Gwadar, but we have continuously received complaints that staff tell people to obtain or renew CNICs from their native districts,” Nadra Director General retired Brig Nasar Mir admitted before the National Assembly Standing Committee on Government Assurances.

The committee met to discuss an assurance given by Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi in response to a calling attention notice from MNA Gul Zafar Khan regarding the blocking of CNICs belonging to residents of tribal districts.

0.1pc of CNICs blocked, Nadra head tells NA standing committee

The minister had assured the house there would be no discrimination against residents of the different federating units and no one would be insulted on a political basis.

Mr Mir on Tuesday agreed that people whose CNICs have been blocked face a number of difficulties, but claimed only 0.1pc of CNICs are blocked.

He said 149.76 million people hold CNICs, of which 155,046 are blocked.

“There are four reasons due to which cards are blocked,” he added. CNICs that have been registered to Afghan nationals are blocked after they are detected, some cards are blocked at the request of intelligence agencies, some are blocked on court orders when suspects do not appear in court and some are blocked if it is proven that the cardholder’s parents never held a Pakistani identity card, he said.

He added that 355,000 CNICs were blocked after the death of Mullah Mansoor. Mansoor, the head of the Afghan Taliban, was killed when the taxi he was travelling in was targeted by a drone near the Nushki district in Balochistan in May 2016.

A Pakistani CNIC found in the wreckage identified Mansoor as Wali Mohammad, but DNA testing confirmed that the deceased was Mansoor but he held a Pakistani CNIC under a fake name. This had triggered questions about how a CNIC was issued to him.

“After that, a parliamentary committee was established to look into the issue and a standard operating procedure was made for the issuance of CNICs. We have also dismissed 7,020 black sheep from Nadra,” Mr Mir said.

MNA Sajid Khan said during the meeting that it was a fact that the residents of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s tribal districts do not receive the same treatment as residents of other parts of the country.

Committee chair MNA Malik Amir Dogar said he has also received a number of complaints regarding the issuance of CNICs. The committee directed for people to be provided the utmost facilities at Nadra centres and for it to be ensured that there is no discrimination.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2019