BROADLY speaking, Interior Minister Rehman Maliks irresponsible comments made a few days back about the recovery of a Pakistani ID card from the possession of Abdolmalik Rigi, the ringleader of Jundallah, reveals the maturity deficit prevailing at the top government circles. The trend of dropping a brick and assuming as if it was gospel truth is one of the hallmarks of our so-called leaders. It is quite sad to know that NADRA, which was making a name for itself at the global level, competing with top firms, has been dealt a severe blow by Mr Maliks false and unverified statement that Rigi was carrying a Pakistani CNIC. As a result, a contract worth Rs 30 billion that NADRA was likely to get from the Mauritius government has been jeopardised. Apart from tarnishing the Organisations image, critics have been provided with yet another opportunity to badmouth us. Of late, NADRA had been striving hard to modernise itself and had launched a multi-biometric national identity card and multi-biometric e-passport system. Also, it had been able to run rings around its Israeli and Indian counterparts as it was thought to be the favourite in the lucrative contract. However, it is a pity that the Interior Ministers comments have landed it in big trouble with challenges to its credibility as well as the financial betterment. In this point in time, NADRA has contracts from various other countries for making passports, ID cards and licences. The firms total budget stands at Rs 5 billion per annum. Besides, it pays salaries to the tune of Rs 2 billion. Up until now, there has been smooth sailing in honouring these international contracts. It is a pity that Minister Maliks casual remark has landed it in trouble. It is a crying shame that he jumped to the conclusion without properly studying the facts of the case. One wishes, he could have held his peace until prior investigation had been done. Later, contrary to his assertion, it was proved that the CNIC in Rigis possession was a fake one and that NADRA had nothing to do with it. Imagine the harm that has been done to one of our institutions with international repute, not to mention our national prestige just because of his verbal recklessness. Reportedly, New Delhi, as is its wont, is fishing in troubled waters and has started spitting venom against Islamabad. Members of the government, be they in cabinet or in any other capacity, have a duty to be circumspect about what they talk. If they do cross the line like Mr Malik, it becomes the duty of the Prime Minister to pull them up.