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January 22, 2018

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Nadra issued over 72,000 CNICs to aliens

ISLAMABAD: Mohammad Aslam migrated from Gardez, Afghanistan, to Pakistan in 1979. Before crossing the border, he was living in fear as his homeland was invaded by the Soviet Union. The man hailing from Banozai tribe of Pashtuns escaped the war in his country with wife and four children.

Mr Aslam, who was in 40s at that time, has been living in different parts of Pakistan and finally settled in a small village named Tibbi Daryani in district Mandi Bahauddin, Punjab, in 1985. His wife Fatima Bibi, 33, gave birth to four more children in Pakistan. Mr Aslam and his sons made several attempts to get registered with the country’s top registration authority—Nadra—but in vain.

The lucky Afghan family then came across an employee of Nadra named Ansar Gondal years ago. After meeting the said Nadra officer, the Afghan family got their destination once they got their CNICs processed successfully. Afghan nationals became Pakistani citizens with slightly changed names. Mr Aslam died in 2016.

Qamar Nadeem, DA Director, who also processed Afghans’ cards at the VIP NRC Headquarter Nadra, was removed from services. Muhammad Khan, DA, Director, NRC Baldia Town-I Karachi, was also dismissed on similar charges. The long list continued to tell how more than 400 employees of Nadra allegedly processed CNICs of around 72,000 foreigners since 2005. Shocking revelations came at a time when Nadra officially confirmed that the body blocked over 0.25 million suspicious national identity cards in the past five years. Either these CNICs were issued to foreigners or Pakistanis.

“Mr Ansar is now facing an inquiry about his alleged involvement in processing illegal CNICs,” Nadra spokesperson confirmed. Nadra’s senior officer Col (retd) Tahir Maqsood is heading the committee probing the allegations. “We took notice on the complaint and it is an ongoing inquiry process [against all the accused in Nadra],” added the spokesperson.

“I was born here in 1989. We are Pakistanis—our parents migrated from Afghanistan some four decades ago. I recently got my CNIC with other family members but it was not illegal way,” Imam Jan, 29, told Geo News.

Issue of illegal registration of foreign nationals and other corrupt practices alarmingly jolted the top Nadra administration from Karachi to Peshawar and even abroad. Over 400 officials were either dismissed from service or facing investigation on processing illegal CNICs to foreigners but a senior official claimed that number of employees goes up to 650 who were either dismissed from services or facing investigation.

“Issuance of CNICs to foreigners at many Nadra centers continued—NRC DHA, Orangi Town, Ayesha Manzil, Kemari and other Nadra offices in Karachi issued thousands of CNICs to Afghans and Bengalis at the rate of Rs10,000—20,000 each—Nadra offices in Lahore and DI Khan were also issuing cards to foreigners—three retired military officers, employed by Nadra at Karachi regional offices, were also involved in it…” reads a secret document exclusively available with Geo News. It further revealed that more than 4,035 foreign nationals got CNICs during the current regime of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

Some 3,430 Afghan nationals managed to get Pakistani national cards. As many as 236 Iranians illegally obtained CNICs following five Iraqis who with connivance of Nadra officials also got processed their cards. The document further revealed that 111 Bengalis also got CNICs, 21 Chinese citizens, seven Moroccans, three Uzbeks, 29 Indians and one each from Indonesia, US, Iraq and United Kingdom also illegally got CNICs. Other 170 fake card holders originally came from Egypt, Senegal, Maldives and some other countries.

The top registration body took disciplinary action against 93 officers while nine officers were exonerated. The remaining 307 officials are low-ranking officials where 27 of them were exonerated by investigators. Some 35 officers and 110 officials were facing investigation on serious major offences. The issuance of Pakistani identity to Afghans became a global headline when Afghan Taliban former chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was killed in Balochistan years back on his way back from Iran.

He was travelling on his Pakistani identity document. In response to this shock the then Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan started ‘revivification programme’ headed by a talent officer of Nadra Mirajam Khan Durrani.

Official documents continued to reveal that aforementioned Nadra officials, serving in different regional offices at different ranks, are facing inquiries in over three dozen Nadra regional offices. As many as 108 officials were either dismissed from services or facing investigation at the Karachi regional offices, around a dozen at Nadra headquarter Islamabad, 25 at Sargodha regional offices, 43 at Lahore regional offices, 12 at Capital’s regional offices, 75 at regional offices Peshawar, 3 at regional offices Multan, 102 at regional offices Quetta, 30 at regional offices Sukkur and the rest were charged with different charges on smaller centers. In a recently held meeting of the Senate Panel, Nadra Chairman Usman Mobin revealed that the authority detected around 0.16 million confirmed aliens.

Some 38,063 aliens were operating in Punjab, 24,503 in Balochistan, 7,046 in Federally Administered Tribal Areas, 41,554 were in Khyber-Pakhtunkwa, 40,042 in Sindh, 6,149 in Islamabad, 1,973 in Kashmir, 835 people from abroad and 121 in Gilgit-Baltistan, he revealed before the Senate’s Functional Committee on Less Developed Areas.

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