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NADRA expands digital identity card services to post offices, trans people

NADRA expands digital identity card services to post offices, trans people
 

The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) of Pakistan has expanded its digital identity services to enhance accessibility and inclusion, Pakistan Observer reports. People can now get identity cards in the initial phase from 83 special post offices in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Karachi, and many other cities countrywide, simplifying renewal, modification, and loss of ID card replacement services. This service operates six days a week, adjusting fee structure with NADRA centers.

Similarly, the Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) is collaborating with NADRA to address challenges faced by the transgender community in obtaining Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs). A recent meeting has led to streamlined procedures, including verification by community leaders, to facilitate easier access to essential identity documents for the transgender community. Transgender communities countrywide have been struggling with hurdles in the digital identification process.

NADRA launches identity card services at post offices

Regarding accessibility and customer satisfaction, it is clear that the entry of identity card service at 83 GPOs and post offices countrywide by NADRA has made a significant change. It decentralizes the process of getting ID cards which makes it easier for people to obtain services such as renewing, modifying, or replacing lost cards.

The project runs six days a week from Monday to Saturday for nine hours until 4pm while on Friday till 12:30pm to enable citizens to access identity card facilities. In addition, the price structure is consistent with NADRA centers. It is worth noting that this program does not extend to expatriate (NICOP) services. This transition towards leveraging post offices for identification purposes reveals NADRA’s efforts towards better service provision reaching out to a larger number of citizens, who are suffering with crowds at centers.

SHRC collaboration with NADRA for transgender rights

Access to Computerized National Identity Cards CNICs is a major challenge for the transgender community in Pakistan, which has great endurance in their access to rights and necessary services. According to a report by The Nation, the SHRC recently held a meeting with NADRA officials and representatives of transgender community in district Larkana. At the meeting, the petitioners from the transgender community mentioned the challenges faced by transgender people, including birth certificates, no objection certificates (NOC) from parents, and requirements for the presence of parents, which are quite challenging for the trans community.

Transgender activists demanded that NADRA should urgently remove these barriers they face, the lack of CNIC is a major hindrance to the implementation of job quotas for trans people. In response, The Nation reports, an official from SHRC directed NADRA and the Social Welfare Department to make the verification process easy by allowing a Guru (community leader) to verify the trans person’s identity, which is recorded along with biometric data in the absence of birth certificates. This change aims to make it easier for transgender to obtain their ID card to avail basic rights, and services to empower their community in society.

NADRA response and solutions

According to The Nation, regarding the obstacles that transgender persons face during obtaining CNICs, NADRA has simplified its policies to speed up the process. NADRA officials responded that there is no requirement for a form-B in the case of transgender people. If birth certificates are not accessible, the Guru can confirm and provide biometric information. The Social Welfare Department also registers transgender community and produces certifications that NADRA utilizes to process CNIC applications. Officials intend these provisions to allow transgender people to get their digital identity cards without unnecessary suffering, fostering inclusion and access to critical services.

NADRA’s new facilities improve the accessibility and effectiveness of digital identity services in Pakistan by leveraging post offices and solving transgender community challenges. These actions can promote inclusion and transparency. However, continued efforts are required to reduce barriers and assist excluded groups with unsolved problems in getting necessary identity documents, allowing for greater societal contribution.

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