Government blocks CNIC obtained by Afghan nationals -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Government blocks CNIC obtained by Afghan nationals

ISLAMABAD: The Upper House of the Parliament was informed that the government has blocked the computerised national identity cards (CNIC) obtained by Afghan nationals and a plan has been devised for their repatriation in next two years.

As many as 92,802 Afghan nationals have succeeded in obtaining these cards on the basis of fake documents, but the government by using latest technology has foiled 85,032 attempts, said Minister of State for Interior Tasneem Qureshi, while responding to a question raised by Parliamentarians on Tuesday.

Tasneem Qureshi informed the House that these CNICs were blocked with the word ‘Fraud’ was punched on them and these cards will never by used in any sort of transaction. The government is in consultation with all the stakeholders dealing with Afghan refugees including United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the Minister said, adding that there are 1.7 million registered Afghan refugees residing in the country to be repatriated under the new strategy.

The Minister informed the House in response to a question that efforts are being made to trace the whereabouts of Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s two children. He said the House would be taken into confidence regarding progress is made in this regard. Tasneem Qureshi also informed the House that 99 cases of terrorism were reported in Karachi during the last five years in which a number of persons were killed.

He said only ten accused involved in the incidents have been arrested. Answering the questions, Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmed Bilour informed the House that Pakistan Railways suffered a net loss of Rs 18.6 billion in last financial year. If Railways was provided with locomotives, it would have been without loss, he added.

He informed the House that efforts are being made to take the Railways out of loss, but the main reason of worsening financial situation is that no one is ready to invest in Railways. “We have raised the matter with World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), who have assured support for restructuring Railways”, he said.

Minister of State for Defence informed the House that efforts are being made to address the complaints received against the officers and officials of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). He also said that the government has no plan to privatise the Roosevelt Hotel in New York and Scribe Hotel in Paris. He said that Roosevelt Hotel New York has 105 rooms and daily rent of each room ranges between $208- $1500, while Paris hotel has 213 rooms and rent ranges between Euro 590 to Euro 2350 daily.

Earlier, Chairman Senate Farooq H Naek, directed Nayyer Bokhari, Leader of the House in Senate to take up the issue of non-responding by the FATA Secretariat with the Prime Minister. Taking action on no reply by Minister for States and Frontier Regions, Najmuddin Khan on questions by Abdur Rashid, the Chairman asked the leader of the House to reply back in one week. Afrasayab Khattak was of the view that the Ministry of Frontier Regions has no control over FATA Secretariat and there should be clear-cut instructions to the Ministry and FATA Secretariat.

Najmuddin Khan informed the House that FATA Secretariat took hold of all the powers in 2007 and the matter was also under discussion in the Senate Standing Committee. On this point, leader of the House Nayyer Hussain Bokhari requested the Chairman to give the last chance to the ministry, as the matter is also under discussion in the Standing Committee.

The Chairman Senate directed the Leader of the House to take up the issue with the Prime Minister. The Chairman also took strict notice of the absence of Advisor on Information Technology Sardar Lateef Khosa from the House and directed the leader of the House to call him to answer the questions immediately.
Source: Business Recorder
Date:2/17/2010