Zubair Qureshi Islamabad
The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has decided to issue the first new biometric identity smartcards for the Afghan refugees registered in the country.
The new Proof of Registration (PoR) cards are legally recognized proof of the identity and have enhanced security features.
This card issuance is part of the government-led and UNHCR-supported Documentation Renewal and Information Verification Exercise (DRIVE).
According to a statement issued on Tuesday, this exercise is currently verifying the information of 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan and will issue them with new PoR smartcards based on the same technology used for Pakistani citizen identification cards.
Refugees who completed their DRIVE verification interviews will be receiving SMS notifications advising them of when and where their new PoR smartcards can be collected.
‘The DRIVE exercise is a joint effort between the Government of Pakistan/Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) and UNHCR, with the technical assistance of NADRA,’ said Saleem Khan, the Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees in Pakistan.
The UNHCR Representative in Pakistan, Noriko Yoshida, appreciated the Government’s efforts for taking this important exercise forward, seeing it as an important opportunity to strengthen the protection of refugees and better understand existing needs in the refugee community.
’DRIVE will provide updated information on registered Afghan refugees and their immediate family members in Pakistan.
This will allow us to better plan and deliver our support to the Government of Pakistan and refugees, as well as the communities hosting them.’
The designated NADRA Spokesperson said that the new PoR smartcards that are being issued as part of this exercise are multi-biometric, offering new possibilities for identity verification, including in the banking sector.