IN the wake of reports about issuance of fake identity cards to thousands of people, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad has announced that a new policy of verification, renewal and correction is being introduced in NADRA for the Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs).
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Monday, he said that action has been taken against thirty nine NADRA officials in Karachi for their involvement in issuance of fake identity cards and similar action will be initiated in other cities as well.
NADRA has become one of the leading institutions in the country because of multifarious responsibilities assigned to it and the role it plays in the life of an ordinary citizen as well as the overall affairs of the country.
Initially, the department was created for registration of citizens and issuance of the national identity cards but with the passage of time its scope and role was expanded to serve as an authentic database for issuance of inheritance certificate, arms licenses and computerized voters’ lists.
Its services are widely being used by banks and other institutions for verification purposes and now it is also becoming one of the important sources for expansion of the tax base as well as i-voting.
Despite all this, it is regrettable that its original mandate i.e. the process for issuance and verification of CNICs is not as credible and foolproof as it should have been as ordinary citizens complain of its cumbersome nature and hefty charges while criminals are able to exploit its vulnerabilities, of course, with the help of black sheep.
Luckily, the NADRA is now headed again by a fully qualified, experienced and visionary Chairman – Muhammad Tariq Malik, who until recently worked as Chief Technical Advisor UNDP.
Malik played a crucial role in large-scale application of technology in NADRA and we hope he would come out with a detailed plan to carry forward the process to ensure complete transparency in its working.
We also expect that he would also introduce reforms aimed at facilitation of customers and bringing down the exorbitant charges of some of its services.