News Source: Express Tribune
Writer: Danish Hussain
ISLAMABAD: The Interior Ministry on Saturday informed the Senate that the country’s top database authority detected more than 58,000 fake or suspicious national identity cards, which have now been “temporarily digitally impounded in NADRA’s database”.
The upper house of parliament was informed that during the re-verification drive it had been noticed that not only some Pakistanis had obtained a second identity cards but also Afghan refugees also got themselves registered with authority as Pakistani citizens.
NADRA found fault with 58,301 national identity cards, the upper house of parliament was informed earlier this week. Punjab topped the list with 17,438 fake/suspicious national identity cards, followed by Sindh with 13,870 such cases.
In Balochistan 11,603 fake/suspicious national identity cards were detected, 10,200 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 3,626 in the Federally-Administrated Tribal Area (Fata), 816 in Islamabad, 702 in Azad Kashmir, and 46 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
NADRA’ also informed the lawmakers that some 3,640 individuals/aliens voluntarily surrendered their CNICs to authorities which were cancelled later. It said that following the drive, it had introduced some steps to make it almost impossible to fraudulently obtain CNICs.
Through an Interior Ministry notification amended on January 3, 2018, a comprehensive verification process of the application of a doubtful applicant has been put in place.
If NADRA staffers sense something wrong in the statement and application of an individual, they ask the applicant to produce any of the documents including; a) land record verified by revenue department registered prior to 1979, b) local/domicile certificate issued prior to 1979 and verified by issuing authority, c) Pedigree (Shajra-e-Nasab) issued and verified by revenue department, d) government employment certificate (or of blood relative) employed before 1990, e) verified educational certificates (issued prior to 1979), f) passport issued to applicant prior to 1979, or g) any other document issued by the government of Pakistan prior to 1979 and verified by issuing authority (including arm license, driving license or manual NIC issued prior to 1979 duly verified by record).
NADRA also said it matches the record of the doubtful applicant with the available alien database, that is POR, ANR, and NARA to stop non-nationals from being registered.
During the re-verification drive NADRA had also terminated hundreds of its employees who were found involved in the issuance of CNICs to non-entitled persons.
The re-verification drive began after law-enforcement agencies recovered Pakistani identity documents from the wreckage of a vehicle targeted in the US drone strike in Balochistan on May 21, 2016. The person was later identified as Wali Muhammad.
Later, the US claimed that it had targeted and killed Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor.
It was embarrassing for the country that one of the most-wanted terrorist from a neighboring country, was found on its soil. Most upsetting fact was that he was carrying a Pakistani national identity card and passport under the fake name of Wali Muhammad.
It rang alarm bells. Already country’s law-enforcement agencies had complained that they recovered Pakistani identity documents, especially CNICs, from the possession of some hardcore al-Qaeda and Afghan terrorists killed inside Pakistani territory during anti-terrorism operations.
It was the time, when the then country’s interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, after consulting law-enforcement agencies, decided to launch a CNICs National Re-verification Drive.