Thousands of CNICs issued to Afghan nationals: FIA official -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Thousands of CNICs issued to Afghan nationals: FIA official

By Qaiser Butt

ISLAMABAD: The mobile registration van facility of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) which issues Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) to the tribesmen of Fata is being misused by issuing authorities, a highly placed official of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) told The Express Tribune, requesting anonymity.

The FIA has pointed out to the NADRA authorities in Peshawar that thousands of CNICs have been issued to Afghan nationals in recent months, according to the FIA official. Agency officials claim that the information was discovered during a raid on a mobile registration van in Fata. The FIA alleges that CNICs were issued to non-entitled people without verification by political agents and tribal elders.

Zohrab Gul , a well known Afghan businessman of the Hazar Buz tribe, has managed to obtain identity cards for thousands of his countrymen in FATA, adds the source.

Hundreds of Afghan nationals have purchased real estate in Peshawar and other parts of the country after obtaining an illegal CNIC. A large number of Afghan nationals have also obtained Pakistani passports, according to the FIA.

A senior NADRA official in Islamabad has rejected the FIA allegations and said that over 13,000 issued CNICs have been blocked after special branch and Intelligence Bureau pointed out the wrongdoings in the issuance of the cards.

Mir Alam Khan, the chief operating officer at NADRA told The Express Tribune that over 100 NADRA staff members were also dismissed for their involvement in the racket.

Khan added that NADRA always issued cards by mobile registration after the attestation by political agents.

FIA officials have claimed its investigation into the dozens of cases remains incomplete due to an uncooperative attitude by NADRA. “FIA investigators were denied access to the relevant record by NADRA on the plea that the law prevented it to share personal information with police or any other authority,” he explained.

Mir Alam said that NADRA could not share such information with the junior officials of the FIA. However, he said that NADRA was duty bound to allow any senior officer, at least of a director level, to have access to its record.

He said that many of the people were issued cards on the directive of the court but, Mir Alam emphasised, all those who have obtained cards were actual citizens of Pakistan.

Source: Tribune