The interior ministry has advised Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain, who wants to apply for a Pakistani identity card and passport, to follow the set procedure, which is to physically go to the High Commission and submit his documents and biometrics there.
“Pakistan has a transparent and legal procedure in place for the issuance of identification cards and passports for every Pakistan’s national,” says a statement issued by the interior ministry spokesperson on Monday. He said Altaf has not submitted his National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) and passport application properly.
However, a National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) official, on the condition of anonymity, said that Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hassan granted permission to photograph and collect the required documents from Altaf via NADRA’s mobile services. These services are provided to people who cannot reach the High Commission or NADRA offices for a reason.
Separately, Altaf Hussain, in a statement issued from London, said he was sad and disappointed by the interior ministry’s remarks. “I need to convey to the federal government and the interior ministry’s higher authorities that I handed over my application to NADRA officials in front of Pakistan High Commissioner to Britain Wajid Shamsul Hassan and other members of the MQM Coordinating Committee,” he insisted. He said NADRA officials also issued a token, which had a tracking ID#503601007637.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2014.