ISLAMABAD: Appalled by the disclosure that Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour ostensibly held a fraudulently issued Pakistani identity card, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday gave the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) 48 hours to hammer out a roadmap to re-verify all CNICs issued to citizens of Pakistan.“It’s an emergency situation, and we need to do years’ worth of work within days,” the minister remarked a day after admitting there was rampant corruption in Nadra and the immigration and passports department and narrating the story of how Wali Mohammad — a purported alias of Akhtar Mansour — came to obtain a CNIC and a passport.
Chairing a meeting at Nadra headquarters that was also attended by the Nadra chairman, director general of Passports and Immigration as well as FIA officials, the minister remarked: “Nadra has 48 hours to submit a work plan with a set deadline for the initiation of a national plan for re-verification of CNICs across Pakistan.”Questions were raised after a Pakistani passport and a CNIC were found near the wreckage of the car targeted by a US drone, leading many to believe these credentials being used by the Taliban leader to travel around the world.
The minister said the fraudulent issuance of a CNIC to the terrorist leader sent the world the message that the Pakistani identity can be used by anyone, noting that this was against the country’s “strategic, security and national interests”.“Let’s not send the message … that the Pakistani ID is easily available to anyone who is willing to pay for it. Being a responsible state, we will ensure that the usage of CNIC by any alien is completely eliminated after this exercise,” he remarked.
The re-verification exercise would ensure that no alien would be able to use Pakistani identification and that CNICs that were already issued to aliens would be cancelled on a fast-track basis.“Nadra and corruption cannot go together. Whether it is insulting for you or not, it is unacceptable for me,” he remarked, addressing the relevant officials.
Once the road-map is approved, the minister was insistent that the general public should not be inconvenienced and the “re-verification of CNICs must be done in the most cordial and friendly way”.The interior minister also called on official to speed up the process of blocking aliens’ CNICs, saying: “National security agencies will also assist Nadra … to ensure the blocking of CNICs.”
At the same time, the interior minister instructed top Nadra officials to address complaints of genuine Pakistani nationals whose CNICs had been blocked.“I have received complaints that CNICs of Pakistanis who were citizens of the state were blocked by Nadra. This must be addressed on [an emergency] basis,” the minister remarked.In a related development, a serving Deputy Commissioner has been summoned by the FIA in connection with investigations into the issuance of an identity card and passport to Wali Mohammad.Hafiz Mohammad Tahir had verified the Pakistani nationality of Wali Mohammad while he was serving in Chaman, Balochistan. Another suspect behind the false verification of Wali Mohammad’s nationality had already been arrested from Quetta on the minister’s orders, an official statement said.