The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) on Monday released new statistics to reveal that approximately 7 million people out of the 91.3million Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) holders are missing from the new voters’ list released in July 2012.
Since its inception in 2000, NADRA has issued a total of 112,604,688 identity cards, which include 21,224,900 Child Registration Certificates and 91,379,788 CNICs issued to adult citizens of age 18 and above. The electoral rolls showed a total of 84.36 million enlisted voters, revealing around 7million voters not included in the electoral rolls.
According to NADRA, of the 7million missing voters, 2.36million CNIC holders are residents of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, thus they are not eligible to vote according to Section 7 of the Electoral Rolls Act, 1974.
Another 576,474 CNICs were issued to residents of Gilgit-Baltistan, which has a separate electorate system and hence are not included in the country’s electoral rolls for the general elections.
There are also around 1.98million CNIC holders, who according to NADRA’s Civil Registration Management System record have died. Another 250,029 individuals are holders of National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis, who listed both their addresses of a foreign country they reside in, making them ineligible to be included in the electoral rolls.
Interestingly, 17,384 CNIC holders have surrendered their Pakistani nationality and have obtained the Pakistan Origin Card.
The authority claimed that the records of 548,568 CNIC holders were being verified and once their due verification process was completed they would be eligible to be inducted in the voters’ list. NADRA said there were 484,918 CNIC holders who could not be verified during the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) door to door verification process. As a result, they were excluded from voters’ list.
NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik said that the authority had received instructions from the ECP to add CNICs issued in the months of June, July and August 2012 in the voter lists as they were verified by them.
Malik said 781,735 CNICs were issued in this period and the ECP had verified them. These people will now be included in the voters list. A standard operating procedure has been worked out between NADRA and the ECP to send issued CNICs on a monthly basis to the election commission for verification, to include them in the voters’ list. Malik added that this exercise would continue until the general elections.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2012.
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