ISLAMABAD: There is a dire need for obtaining high resolution (HR) photos of over 4,000 terrorists, criminals and proclaimed offenders (POs) to make the Safe City Islamabad capable of apprehending them, sources in the police told Dawn.
They said since October the Safe City Islamabad had made three requests to Nadra for the HR photos of the terrorists and criminals.
Though Safe City has access to Nadra’s Verisys (verification system), but the quality of the photos taken or captured from this system is not up to the mark, resulting in mismatching, they said, adding HR photos were required for accuracy to pick the wanted person without any doubt and suspicion.
In this regard, requests were made to Nadra for sharing photos of persons wanted in terrorism and other heinous crimes such as robbery and murder in the capital and adjoining provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The provision of the HR photos of these terrorists, criminals and proclaimed offenders (POs) will help the facial recognition system of the Safe City Islamabad in identifying them with accuracy, the sources said. Besides, it will also curb terrorism and criminal activities through prevention of their free movement and early arrest.
A list carrying the CNIC numbers of the over 4,000 wanted persons was forwarded to Nadra that included the POs.
In the request, Nadra was informed that as per section 87 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the proclamation and photos of a PO should be publicly affixed in conspicuous places such as railway stations, courts and other public places.
The HR photos of the criminals declared as POs are requested from Nadra as per law, they added.
A key component of the Safe City is to prevent access and movement of wanted persons and unauthorised vehicles in the city and to minimise the possibility of terrorist attack and criminal activities, the sources said, adding the integration of Nadra with the facial detection and recognition system of Safe City Islamabad was envisaged in the original PC-I of the project.
When contacted, Nadra Chairman Tariq Malik said: “We received the special request a month ago to share the personal data of criminals and proclaimed offenders in electronic way including digital photographs.”
Nadra is custodian of citizens’ personal data and we guard their privacy with passion, he added.
Hence evaluation of the request such as determination of a citizen as a criminal and proclaimed offender, obtaining legal opinion on such an unprecedented task and ensuring the data was not misused took time, Mr Malik said.
“As the Nadra chairman, it’s my responsibility to police the police on behalf of the citizens when it comes to protecting their identity credentials. We have completed all required approvals and data of criminals and proclaimed offenders is being shared today,” he added.
Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2023
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