ISLAMABAD - In an attempt to legalise the status of a large number of children who were born legally, but their parentage was unknown, President Asif Ali Zardari asked the National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) to use his name in the fathers name box for all such children, Nadra Chairman Malik Tarek told TheNation on Tuesday. In a communication with TheNation on Tuesday, Malik Tarek confirmed that Nadra was planning to issue identity cards to children whose parentage was unknown. Actually, majority of the children were dropped by their parents at different welfare centers for unknown reasons. Nadra is issuing identity cards to thousands of children with unknown parentage, Malik said, adding that a large number of such children landed in the welfare centers because they lost their parents in the earthquake in 2005 and the catastrophic flood in 2010. He especially mentioned that Nadra was at loss to fill the registration forms for to such children as it was mandatory to mention the name of the father and mother of the child. When it came to the knowledge of President Zardari, he voluntarily offered his name to be used in the fathers name box for such people, Malik Tarek revealed. I want you to make a strategy to make thousands of children with unknown parentage a responsible citizen of the state. Nadra can mention my name as father of all such children to issue them identity cards, Malik Tarek quoted President Asif Ali Zardari as saying. Dealing with the sensitive and a complex issue of children with unknown parentage, Nadra approached different schools of thoughts from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Iran who suggested 'mentioning Adam and Hawa as father and mother of such children. We took fatwa from leading Islamic institutions and scholars of Saudi Arabia and Iran to deal with the issue, the Nadra chairman said. He said that Nadra also consulted social workers including Begum Attiya Inayatullah and Abdus Sattar Edhi, chief of Edhi Foundation, for their suggestions to solve the matter. In consultation with Abdus Sattar Edhi and Begum Inayatullah, we decided to process each case individually. Also, we have agreed to use the institution (where the children are stationed) as their guardian, he said. Malik Tarek mentioned of thousands of children who landed in welfare centers as their parents were killed either in the catastrophic 2005 earthquake or the devastating 2010 floods. Apart from children with unknown parentage, no law exists on the rights of illegitimate children in terms of financial entitlement or inheritance in Pakistan, internationally renowned legal expert Akram Khaqi said Monday. TheNation got the same response to the question from a dozen of other legal experts who demanded the government to call a conference to discuss in detail 'how to register illegitimate children as they also have the right to good education and jobs in the country. As a matter of fact, the children are not illegitimate rather their parents are illegitimate; so the children must be facilitated to get good education, the legal experts opined. According to sources, a large number of cases have been noticed in which the children whose origin was unknown were converted to Christianity by Christian missionaries in Pakistan and later on adopted by the US and Canadian nationals. However, details were not immediately available. Ironically, legal experts and renowned religious scholars like Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman were not even consulted to get suggestion on the matter, raising several questions.