Watan Cards issue: Nadra files complaint at Pemra against ‘baseless' TV report -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Watan Cards issue: Nadra files complaint at Pemra against ‘baseless’ TV report

KARACHI: The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) has filed a complaint with Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) over airing a baseless report by a private TV channel over non-issuance of Watan cards.

On November 29, a programme on Watan cards to the flood-affected people of a village called Suleman Kharai, tehsil Sajawal, district Thatta of Sindh by one of the TV channels grossly misreported the facts just to add sensation in the programme and impress the viewers. Despite Nadra’s request, the said channel did not air the facts presented after the airing of programme.

Nadra Deputy Chairman Tariq Malik said, “the media is our eyes and ears and we have always learned and corrected some of the cumbersome procedures after the media reported public duress on the same. However, reports sensationalising the issues only hurt our international business on which Nadra depended heavily as far as its operational budget is concerned as Nadra don’t take anything from the Government,” he added.

Upon airing of this programme, Nadra took the matter very seriously and sent its team to investigate with the help of the notables of that area; however, the facts were totally contrary to what was reported. Following are the details about the people who were interviewed by the channel and they denied getting Watan cards.

Bashir Ahmed Kharai, resident of Tehsil Sajawal, got his Watan card processed on 25.09.2010 at 12:03 PST and the same was activated on 26.09.2010 at 20:57 PST. Abdul Majeed Kharai, resident of Tehsil Sajawal, got his Watan card processed on 18.10.2010 at 13:34 PST which was activated on 21.10.2010 at 00:15 PST, Muhammad Haneef, unmarried male was not given the card as his father holding had been processed as the head of the family.

Hussain Mir Behr holding a married male resident of Tehsil Sajawal had his Watan Card processed on 17.10.2010 at 13:13 PST, which was activated on 17.10.2010 at 16:25 PST, Hussain Mir Behr holding an unmarried male was not given the card since his mother holding being the head of the family was processed for issuance of Watan Card.

Surprisingly the team conducting the interviews never bothered to verify the facts from Nadra and went on air tarnishing the image of a respected and sensitive organisation unnecessarily just to add value to the programme. He said Nadra has lodged complaint with competent authority Pemra as certain segments of print and electronic media are developing generalisations based on specific isolated incidents to infer specific conclusions and mislead general public, resulting in creating doubts in public trust on Nadra systems.

Source: Business Recorder