March 1, 2013 -
Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has directed The National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) to issue Computerized national identity cards (CNICs) to the unregistered population and to ensure that no eligible voters are disenfranchised in the country’s upcoming elections, set to take place in May.
During a briefing with the Prime Minister, Nadra’s Chairman, Tariq Malik claimed that Nadra has issusued 93.4 million CNICs so far, including 52 million males and 41 million females. Malik also said in the briefing that 30 million card had been issued free of cost, as The Nation reports.
So far, Nadra has registered 99% of the population in Islamabad, 95% in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 96% in Punjab, 90% in Gilgit-Baltistan, 88% in Sindh, 87% in FATA and 76% in Balochistan. Additionally, Malik said that Nadra has established 12 women-only centers where only female staff had been deployed, in an effort to achieve 100% registration of the female population.
Reported today in Dawn.com, six Nadra officials have been arrested on charges of issuing fake CNICs to Afghan refugees. The officials were allegedly involved in preparing fake CNICs on payments of large amounts of money to Afghan refugees and an inquiry has been in process against them since 2009.
Last year, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari directed Nadra to issue CNICs to pensioners, enabling them to withdraw pensions from banks and post offices.
Reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, the biometric verification deadline set by Nadra for telecom operators in the country has recently past, and this period has been extended indefinitely.