ISLAMABAD: Around 2,250 individuals from across the globe have so far applied online to obtain Pakistan’s visa, according to data released by the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) on Tuesday.
Nadra, which developed the online system of issuing visas to potential travellers to Pakistan, said that 739 applications had been received during a single week starting from May 6.
The online visa system was inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan on March 14 offering online visa facility to citizens of 175 countries of the world, in a significant move aimed at opening up Pakistan’s borders to the world.
Nadra receives 739 applications during a single week
Moreover, from May 6 to May 12, Nadra said it processed and registered approximately 277,000 people into its database, out of which almost 37,000 received identity documents free of cost. These identity documents were of category types such as Computerised or Smart National Identity Cards (CNIC/SNIC), Family and Child Registration and Pakistan Origin Card (POC).
A push for newer and secure Smart identity cards led to an increase of over half a million applicants in 2018. Similarly, Mobile Registration Vans (MRVs) deployed in both urban and rural areas registered over one million citizens, with a significant increase in registration of females and differently-abled persons.
Nadra said it also established an online web-based application system known as Pak-Identity that has enabled 317,307 applicants to process their ID cards from their homes and offices.
Additionally, in the week of May 6 to May 12 2019, Nadra cleared more than 500 cases that were either blocked or under verification.
The establishment of eight (24-hour) mega centres in all major cities across the country has provided the general public access to Nadra round the clock.
Nadra in Fiji
On the international stage, Nadra has established its foothold by deploying its IT solutions to many governments in various countries. The most recent endeavour was in Fiji, where Nadra developed an Election Management System for the Fijian government.
The civil registration system in Sudan and most recently a National Identification System for Somalia have also been developed by Nadra.
Nadra also said that it augmented its existing infrastructure and has converted over 300 Nadra registration centres (NRCs) to one-window operation in order to expedite processing times and reduce queues for the ease of citizens.
The incumbent chairman of Nadra took measures to transform NRCs to next-generation infrastructure and operations especially in southern Punjab, interior Sindh and Karachi. Due to certain measures, the processing in respective region has increased manifold from 5,000 tokens per day to maximum 17,000 tokens per day, claimed Nadra.
Nadra said it has been spearheading the project for the computerisation of arms licences for federal, Punjab and Sindh provinces to develop a secure and transparent mechanism for issuance of licences across the country.
Moreover, Nadra said it has been active in war-stricken areas such as the former Fata, where millions of persons were displaced and required financial assistance. Cash disbursement systems were set up by Nadra for livelihood support and child wellness in partnership with the World Bank.
At the Union Council level, Nadra said it established 669 new Civil Registration and Management System (CRMS) sites (total of 7,893 sites) for the computerisation of birth, death, marriage and divorce records.
Additionally, the authority has also rolled out Vehicle Registration Smart Cards for the Excise and Taxation Department of ICT, for which 2,595 applications have been received, said Nadra.
Nadra said it has played a significant role in ensuring that the democratic right to vote is protected and extended to all citizens, even those residing overseas. During the by-polls for the Pakistan General Elections of 2018, an Internet Voting System was developed by Nadra to allow expatriate Pakistanis living abroad to cast their vote online. Approximately 7,500 eligible voters were registered and were able to successfully cast their vote online for their respective constituencies.
Nadra digitised around 500,000 housing forms of prospective applicants for the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme.
Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2019