ISLAMABAD - National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) is set to review a controversial agreement, it made with a UK-based firm sometime back, amid the country security agencies reservations that sensitive information on national security may get passed on to the foreign elements, TheNation learnt reliably. The NADRA had decided to outsource its operations in UK to International Identity Services (IIS), a company dealing personal identity verification services and the final details of the project were discussed at important meetings when its Chairman Ali Arshad Hakim visited London, some two months back in August. An official of the Interior Ministry informed that the countrys top security and intelligence agencies had showed their serious reservations about the NADRAs decision on the plea that the vital information about Pakistani citizens would no more be secure as NADRAs data would be accessible to a private company of UK. The security agencies had also feared that the essential data of citizens could be stolen, hacked or breach that would have serious repercussions on the national security of the country, the official added. Well-placed sources in the Ministry of Interior informed that NADRA had also arranged briefings for the top officials of these security agencies to address their grievances in this regard and later the high ups sitting at the helm of affairs decided to review the deal to remove anomalies in it. A high official of NADRA on the condition of anonymity said that the deal was basically to convert NICOP (National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis) into a chip based smart card for the provision of additional facilities including health, insurance and banking through a single card. We want to bring the maximum overseas Pakistanis under this network and planning to announce incentives to attract more people, he said adding that for example, any Pakistani citizen in UK who would get this new smart card, a Pakistani-based private bank will automatically transfer 50 UK pounds in his account as an incentive, he added. NARDA official informed that through the original agreement, IIS had to provide its premises (IIS centers) to facilitate the overseas Pakistanis for their data acquisition and processing of smart NICOPs. The two major functions, the operations and marketing for these smart cards were the prime responsibility of the private company, under the deal, he further informed. The high-up disclosed that however after the reservation of the security agencies, NADRA has decided to keep the operations for the issuance of chip-based NICOPs with it and the private company would market these cards to bring the maximum Pakistanis in this network. While defining the operations, he informed that the NADRA would use its own workforce and technology to process these cards and NADRAs data for the verification of these cards would not be available to the private company at all. However, he refused to decline that whether NADRA would use the premises of IIS centers for the processing of these cards or arrange separate places for this purpose. According to the official website of International Identity Services (IIS), it is an innovative provider of personal identity verification services, offering comprehensive solutions including expertise in smart cards, associated affinity programmes, biometric identification, network security and audit and compliance. We offer our clients a service that is confidential, tailored uniquely to need and highly secure. Our operating model is fully flexible; we are happy to operate in partnership, as an agency service provider or stand-alone depending on preferences and requirements, says the website.