PAC to take up issue of fictitious ID cards today
By Khawar Ghumman
ISLAMBAD: The Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly is likely to grill the interior secretary and the NADRA chairman on Saturday over the issuance of fake computerised national identity cards.
The PAC has convened a special meeting to investigate allegations that fraudsters are having a field day and getting dubious identity cards issued with impunity and in massive numbers, despite the claim by the National Database and Registration Authority that it has developed a foolproof system to check wrongdoing.
Interior Secretary Chaudhry Qamar Zaman and NADRA Chairman Abdul Hakim Arshad would answer a litany of questions from PAC members.
Surprisingly, as per official notification about the meeting, it will take up the issuance of fictitious ID cards in Rawalpindi – the home district of PAC Chairman Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
Some NADRA officials were arrested in Rawalpindi last week for their alleged involvement in issuing fake ID cards. Over 300,000 ID cards are reported to have been issued to people who don`t belong to the area.
Chaudhry Nisar was furious over the incident.
The issue has become more relevant because NADRA had in a report issued in the first week of this month revealed that electoral rolls used in the Feb 2008 general election contained over 37 million bogus entries. It will also be discussed at the meeting.
The authority ran a check on identity of 81.2 million people who were declared eligible to cast votes in the last elections. During a verification process, NADRA found that out of 81.2 million voters, 44.02 million entries were valid, leaving a gap of 37.18 entries which were bogus in one way or the other.
In addition, the authority has a data of 36.5 million CNIC holders whose names were missed out in the electoral rolls prepared in 2007.
According to the information shared with the Election Commission, 15.02 million voters were registered without any identity. About 2.1 million entries were based on invalid CNIC. There were 4.49 million duplicate CNIC entries and 6.46 million old (manual) ID card duplicate or multiple entries. Record of 11.05 million manual ID cards does not exist in NADRA database.
According to the electoral rolls of 2007, there were 44.66 million registered voters in Punjab, including 24.57 million male and 20.08 million female voters. Only one-third (16.32 million) entries of male voters and half (10.30 million) of female voters were found to be valid.
The electoral rolls contained 19.75 million registered voters from Sindh, including 11.05 million male and 8.7 million female voters. About 5.4 million entries of male voters and 3.2 million of female voters were held in order.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the number of male and female voters was 7.3 million and 4.76 million, respectively, while the number of verified voters was 4.90 million and 2.09 million, in the same order.
In Balochistan, the number of registered voters was 4.22 million, including 2.27 million male and 1.95 female voters. And 1.45 million entries, including about one million male and half million female voters, were found to be valid.