ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Interior has finalised – in consultation with senior lawmakers – a mechanism to clear nearly 0.4 million Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) blocked by the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) on suspicion.
Documents available with The Express Tribune suggest that two categories have been formed under the proposed ‘comprehensive’ mechanism.
These include routine cases, in which CNICs have been blocked on reports of NADRA’s vigilance department, complaints of citizens and Data Cleansing Programme, and complex cases, in which the CNICs have been blocked on the reports of intelligence agencies.
This mechanism has been finalised after three in-camera meetings between members of the Parliamentary Committee on National Re-verification Programme and top NADRA representatives in February and March 2017.
Routine cases will be dealt with by NADRA itself, while complex cases will be referred to district level committees – comprising MNAs of respective district, a deputy commissioner/assistant political agent, district police officer, and representatives of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB).
Under the proposed mechanism, a CNIC, upon submission of required documents by an individual, will be cleared within 6 to 30 working days. An individual with blocked CNIC will be cleared if he submits any of the required documents.
These documents may be a land record registered prior to 1978, local/domicile certificate issued prior to 1978, a pedigree [Shajra-e-Nasb], government employment certificate, educational documents issued prior to 1978, and any other document – arms or driving licence or manual NIC issued prior to 1978.
These documents are required to be verified by the issuing authorities.
At district level committees, verification of attested documents will be required from a deputy commissioner or an assistant political agent. In case of verification, blocked CNICs will be restored upon confirmation of national status of suspected individuals.
Thousands of CNICs have recently been blocked under ongoing National Re-verification Programme initiated by interior ministry in the backdrop of recovery of Pakistani CNICs from senior Taliban and Al-Qaeda members killed inside Pakistan during military operations and the US drone attacks.
A Pakistani CNIC and passport was also recovered from the Afghan Taliban’s former chief Mullah Mansoor after he was killed in a drone strike inside Pakistan.
During one of the parliamentary committee meetings, MNA Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao had asked from NADRA authorities about status of investigations into Mullah Mansoor case.
According to the document, NADRA’s DG Operations responded that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was investigating the case and NADRA employees, who had facilitated processing of identity card of Mansoor, had been terminated from service and were currently under the FIA’s custody.
Progress on NADRA re-verification programme
The parliamentary committee was informed that 345,510 CNICs were blocked currently, of which 273,546 were blocked on national status, while 70,646 were blocked due to fake particulars.
NADRA informed the parliamentary committee members that through SMS verification process, 74, 516 intruders were identified and so far 62,800 had been served notices.
Some 13,287 cards were cleared after due verification process and 49,513 persons either did not contact NADRA or did not provide any relevant supporting documents for clearing their cards.