WEB DESK: Piqued by a disclosure that Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour was fraudulently issued a Pakistani identity card, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Friday said all Computerised National Identity Card (CNICs) issued by National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to citizens of Pakistan would be re-verified within six months.
The Interior Minister made this announcement while briefing media persons at Nadra headquarters. He said it has been decided to focus on 25 million families for verification of their identity cards.
“Nadra will write letters along with family trees to the heads of 25 million families for verification of their family members,” the minister added. Nisar said that if the people having fake CNICs submit their illegal CNICs with Nadra within two months no action will be taken against them.
“No action will be taken against those who voluntarily submit their fake CNICs with the authority,” he said. He warned that after the passage of two months criminal cases will be registered against fake CNICs holders and they can be awarded imprisonment of seven years.
The Interior Minister said that the officials who have facilitated or issued CNICs to non-national or fake CNICs or passport will also be given two months to voluntarily reveal to Nadra to whom they had issued fake CNICs or passports. “No action will be taken against those officials who voluntarily identify fake CNICs or passport holders,” he said.
Khan said after two months the officials who are found guilty will be awarded an imprisonment of 14 years. He said that a special directorate will be set-up for re-verification of CNICs and the government has also constituted a legal team which will file criminal cases against officers found guilty of illegally issuing NICs.
He said the issuance of fake CNICs to terrorists or non-nationals sent the world a message that the Pakistani identity can be used by anyone. “The issuance of fake CNICs is against the country’s strategic, security and national interests,” he said, adding that majority of fake CNICs were issued in the tenure of previous government “but this is matter is not about the government but about institutions.”
“It was not only Wali Muhammad who was issued fake CNIC but there are so many such other cases,” he said, adding that fake CNICs were issued in bulk quantities during the tenure of previous government.
He said cases have been registered against two parliamentarians for verifying documents of non-nationals to help them obtain CNICs. The Minister said that Nadra will not block CNIC of any citizen until there is 90 percent evidence of some fraudulent activity surrounding the issuance of such a card.
Khan further said he had approved some organisational changes in Nadra and reduced the number of DGs in Nadra from 26 to 10. The Minister said that he will request National Assembly Speaker to constitute a Parliamentary Committee to oversee the entire process to ensure its transparency.
He said Nadra would announce a reward scheme for those people who inform it about the foreigners possessing Pakistani identity cards or passports. Khan said that a helpline is being established for the purpose in addition to a helpline to redress grievances of those who might have genuine grievances during the exercise of re-verification of CNICs.
He said that like Nadra, Directorate of Immigration and Passports (I&P) is also being declared as essential service for six months to ensure smooth implementation of new measures.
He stated that during the tenure of the current government, Nadra and I&P directorate have blocked 112,000 fake CNICs and 29,000 passports, respectively. To a question, he said he will raise the issue of border management on a priority basis in the upcoming meeting of National Security Committee (NSC).-Business Recorder