Data compiled by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) shows 92 million adults possess computerised national identity cards (CNICs) – of which 52 million are males and 40 million are women.
The authority claims that 96% of the country’s total adult population now possesses CNICs. However, the recently published electoral rolls suggest many are still missing from the voters’ list.
There are a total of 84.36 million registered voters, of which 47.77 million are males and 36.59 million are females.
According to the law, every citizen above the age of 18 who possesses a CNIC is eligible to vote. Hence, all 92 million Pakistanis are potential voters.
NADRA Chairman Muhammad Tariq Malik told Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in a briefing on Saturday that the authority was trying to reach out and issue CNICs to people in far flung areas.
Malik said besides 452 national registration centres, 252 mobile registration vans and 70 semi-mobile units were also operating throughout the country.
He said special arrangements have been made to register women, adding that on Fridays only female staff worked in 11 NADRA centres. Malik added the authority has also asked NGOs to help facilitate females.
Meanwhile, he has written a letter to all political parties urging them to extend their presence to all parts of the country. This, he added, would help NADRA access pockets of the population that remain unregistered.
Of the 39.7 million registered by NADRA, 5.3 million are from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), 0.59 million from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), 22 million from Punjab, 8.6 million from Sindh, 1.45 million from Balochistan, 0.36 million from Islamabad, 0.27 million from Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) and 1.12 million from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). According to Malik, NADRA has so far managed to register 99.5% of the voters in AJK and K-P, 99% in Punjab, 89% in G-B and 88% in Sindh and Fata. In Balochistan the figure only stood at 76%.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2012.