ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has directed Chairman NADRA Tariq Malik to issue computerised national identity cards (CNICs) to unregistered population and ensure that nobody is disenfranchised in the upcoming elections.

The PM also applauded the role of NADRA over the progress made so far regarding issuance of CNICs to the citizens. Chairman NADRA Tariq Malik Thursday called on the PM and briefed him about the initiatives taken on war footing basis to register population and engaging political parties to motivate citizens for their registration, says an officials handout issued by National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA).

While briefing the PM, Mr Malik claimed that NADRA has issued overall 93.4 million CNICs including 52 million males and 41 million females, while 30 million cards had been issued free of cost. Moreover, 5.8 million NICOP have also been issued so for which is part of overall CNIC registration.

Chairman also informed the PM that their focus had been on Sindh and Balochistan keeping in view the low registration as compared to other provinces; while they had moved ahead in Fata region despite poor law and order situation there.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he added, the NADRA has registered 95 percent male and 88 percent female population and it was making all-out efforts to get the adult population in Pakistan especially women registered in a minimum possible time so that they could get voting rights, education, health, employment and other facilities.

The PM appreciated the efforts of Tariq Malik who informed him that they had registered 99 percent population in Islamabad, 95 percent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 96 percent in Punjab, 90 percent in Gilgit-Baltistan, 88 percent in Sindh, 87 percent in FATA and similarly 76 percent in Balochistan.

Chairman NADRA informed that in order to facilitate women in acquiring CNICs, NADRA had established 12 women-only centers where only female staff had been deployed across the country, especially in areas with more traditional mindset. Also, NADRA is reaching out to NGOs to help facilitate women in obtaining CNICs to achieve 100 percent registration of womenfolk across the country.

The Prime Minister said that NADRA should ensure that all registered voters had CNICs before the next elections. He also directed the Chairman NADRA to expedite an awareness campaign to persuade people to get CNICs so that they were not disenfranchised.

During the briefing, Prime Minister was informed that 452 national registration centers, 252 mobile registration vans and 70 semi-mobile units were working throughout the country for registering adults in remote and far-flung areas. And special arrangements have been made for registering women.