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ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights on Tuesday described the case of Malik Attaullah, whose citizenship has been challenged, as that of political victimisation.

Usman Khan Kakar, who raised the issue during a meeting of the Senate committee, maintained that the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) was being used as a tool to blackmail individuals raising a voice against the “war on terror”.

Malik Attaullah and his son Hikmatullah, whose Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) have been blocked, were present during the meeting and the senators heard their case with empathy.

The meeting learnt that Mr Attaullah, who has been district president of the Awami National Party twice for eight years, has lost nearly a dozen family members, including one of his sons, after refusing to cooperate with terrorists.

Hikmatullah told the committee that his father had survived several attempts on his life and that he still received threats.

He complained that the security provided to his father by the state had been withdrawn.

Hikmatullah showed a certificate claiming that his father had been praised by the Frontier Corps for his patriotism, willingness to risk his life and cooperating with law enforcement agencies during military operations.

Chairman of the committee Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar of the Pakistan Peoples Party said: “To challenge the citizenship of such a man, who has lost family members in the war on terror, and has been acknowledged by the state for his cooperation with law enforcement agencies, is a case of abhorrent political victimisation.”

Nadra chairman Usman Mobeen informed the committee that the matter was pending with the Bajaur DCO. “It’s a complex case. The political agent had said that this case should be cleared, but the Bajaur DCO thinks it requires further investigation,” Mr Mobeen said. Mr Attaullah was first granted a manual identity card in 1979, he added.

Mr Khokhar said he had no words to condemn actions of the state. “I do not have the words to express the sad state of affairs that a Pakistani citizen who has lost his family members and has survived attacks from terrorists is humiliated in such a manner,” he regretted.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2019