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December 10, 2019

94 CNICs issued at central jail camp

Karachi

December 10, 2019

After knowing that there was an urgent need for prisoners in Sindh jails to obtain identification documents, the provincial prisons department had requested the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) earlier this year to organise a camp at the Karachi Central Prison to assist inmates in acquiring computerised national identity cards (CNICs).

Ninety-four applications of prisoners were processed at the camp held in the jail, according to a press release issued on Monday. Ghanwar Ali Leghari, prisons secretary, visited the camp to review the process. The urgent need for prisoners to obtain identification documents were identified earlier this year by the Committee on the Welfare of Prisoners-Legal Aid Office (CWP-LAO).

Recently, the CWP-LAO with the support of the prisons department, conducted an extensive data collection exercise at the Karachi Central Prison through the prison paralegals to determine how many prisoners were prevented from participating in fundamental citizenship rights because they lacked the identity documents. In all, 876 prisoners were identified having the need for CNICs, including renewal of the expired cards, it was learnt.

The results of this fact-finding exercise were shared with the home department and other officials, and the CWP-LAO urged the government to liaise with Nadra and conduct a camp at the Karachi Central Prison to collect and process ID card applications from incarcerated individuals. The committee emphasised the urgent need for this initiative, as without identity documentation prisoners were unable to access educational opportunities, financial services, and health and social welfare benefits upon their release.

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