NADRA master card deal

TRUE to his reputation of acting swiftly and unconventionally when it comes to safeguarding vital national interests, Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan took strong notice of the deal between NADRA and MasterCard for financial transactions and suspended the agreement. The action followed reports that the deal was signed without taking written permission from the government, and without holding any consultations with the stakeholders or consideration of the sensitive security issues.
Intention of NADRA might be pious — to allow people easy access to e-transaction using their national identity card but on the face of it the arrangement was finalised without doing necessary homework. Besides its relevance to national security, the personal data of the citizens is a sacred trust with NADRA and sharing of their particulars or information with any agency or department is a sheer breach of this trust. This breach assumes dangerous proportions when it comes to sharing of data with a firm, which has its servers outside Pakistan. Even if the servers are in Pakistan, it would be risky to give access to this database to an irrelevant agency or company. There are also questions about the mandate of NADRA to carry out financial transactions and according to reports, this aspect is being probed by the State Bank of Pakistan. Despite the fact that it is earning handsomely by overcharging citizens on various counts, we must not lose sight of the fact that NADRA is not a commercial venture as it is doing a sensitive national job. It should better concentrate on its original mandate and streamline further its procedures as still there are complaints about unnecessary harassment and botheration of the citizens and issuance of fake documents to locals and foreigners.

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