Following the death of Taliban chief Mullah Mansour in Balochistan last week, Pakistan has been in the news for wrong reasons. Particularly because of the fact that that the now-deceased Afghan Taliban supremo was traveling from Taftan, Iran to Balochistan on a Pakistani CNIC and travel documents.
A Senate-led inquiry was also ordered for the same a few days back, to ascertain the facts of the matter.
Seeing how Pakistan has admitted that the deceased was indeed Mullah Mansour, and that he possessed Pakistani documents to identify himself and travel, the Interior Ministry, under Federal Minister Chaudhary Nisar, has decided to embark on a process of re-verifying 180 million CNICs by NADRA, the national database authority.
7 Years Jail for Fake CNIC Holders
The Interior Minister Mr. Khan declared today that anyone found possessing a fake national identity card will be jailed for a period of 7 years. The warning comes in the face of revelations that many Afghan (and even locals) possess a fake CNIC in the country.
This development is particularly worrisome, as it reinforces perceptions that the National Database Authority’s system and standard operating procedures leave a lot to be desired and are open to abuse by third parties.
The strides made in re-verification of SIMs by biometric verification systems to date has made NADRA’s task a bit easier, since fingerprint records are matched with ID cards by telcos as well.
It remains to be seen how the government can wake up to the threats posed by the compromised CNIC holders and how it can better manage the issue without inconveniencing law-abiding citizens.
For now, the issue of implementation and enforcement demands the attention of the government more than fighting money laundering charges.