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NADRA boss accuses staff of issuing national digital IDs to foreigners

NADRA boss accuses staff of issuing national digital IDs to foreigners

Some staff of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) have willingly played a role in the issuance of national digital ID cards (CNIC) to non-citizens in Pakistan, the new chairman of the ID-issuing body claimed in a recent submission to lawmakers at the Senate.

New NADRA Chairman Muhammad Munir Afsar told the Senate Standing Committee on Interior that other than staff collusion, another factor responsible for the phenomenon is the aspect of aliens paying bribes to native Pakistani families to become part of their family trees, Dawn reports.

Afsar told the Senate panel that punitive measures are already being taken by his office against some of the staff fingered for fishy digital ID issuance, with about 84 persons already suspended. He however noted that some of the accused are able to find an escape route given the lack of legislation preventing the sale of personal data.

For the non-nationals joining native family trees, Afsar said their findings reveal some of them employ different methods such as the use of credentials of members of Pakistani families, data from old analogue and non-photo ID cards issued prior to the establishment of NADRA, ID details of dead persons issued before 2004, as well as the patronage of powerful Pakistanis.

He explained that as part of measures to tackle the ID card fraud, NADRA is working on improving its system for verifying ID applicants.

Dawn notes that during the Senate panel, Director General of Passports and Immigration Mustafa Jamal Kazi also responded to accusations that there was some discrimination in the way passports are issued to Mehsud people in Karachi.

The outlet also reports a development in which a criminal group selling activated SIM cards to Afghan nationals was busted recently thanks to a collaboration between the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) and the cybercrime investigation outfit of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Material items including scanned passport data were seize during the raid.

NADRA was instructed to resume the issuance of ID cards to transgender persons in September.

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