ISLAMABAD - The National Database and Regulatory Authority on Tuesday rejected the allegations that the authority has leaked voters’ data related to the general election to an unauthorized entity.

Addressing a press conference here, four Nadra directors said that no data had ever been leaked. “No data has ever been shared with any entity,” Nadra Director-General Nadra Zulfikar Ali told the media. He clarified that their press conference had nothing to do with the statement of any of the political party.

“We are neither denying nor verifying any political statement about the data breach,” he clarified. He said that an old email was run by a TV channel, which had nothing to do with the data leakage. He said that Nadra officer Syed Muzaffar Ali, who was sacked on corruption charges, has leveled the allegations of the data leakage. He said that such allegations had been leveled in the past too. Zulfiqar Ali said that the Supreme Court had commended NADRA’s input in the dual nationality case.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had written to Nadra Chairman Usman Yousaf Mobin over an alleged voters’ data leak, fearing a potential threat to the computerized electoral rolls system (CERS). The ECP had sought urgent measures and actions before it impacted the credibility of NADRA and the ECP at large as the custodians of the electoral rolls.

In the letter titled “confidentiality and security of electoral rolls data”, the ECP reminded the Nadra chairman that “as per the contract signed between the ECP and Nadra in June 2011, the latter is acting as a faithful service provider to the ECP and is at all times supposed to support and safeguard the ECP’s legitimate interests”. “However, the competent authority has observed with great concern that there exists a potential threat to the security of data relating to the computerized electoral rolls system. Apropos to the article/report published on May 25 and May 28 in an English daily, showing that there are insiders who have crept into the system and provided the information to outsiders,” the letter said. The ECP wrote that “it might also be noted that the report was desired by this commission but on the contrary, the report was shared with non-recipients before it reached this commission, thus raising eyebrows”.

“It also supported the apprehension that other data related to voters might also have been shared with unauthorized hands when such data reports are being shared. This act is a clear violation of the term 3.11 and 3.3 of the contract and is not acceptable at any cost. It requires urgent measures and actions be taken before it impacts the credibility of NADRA and the ECP at large as custodians of the electoral rolls. It may be noted that all such information and reports are only intended for use of the ECP, whereas Nadra’s role is to maintain and preserve the information/data,” the letter said.

The ECP had emphasized that “all such persons, who indulged in this act, need to be taken to task and necessary tangible measures are required urgently to avoid such incidents in future”.

The Nadra officials said the data of voters was completely safe. They said the possibility of sharing voters’ data with unauthorized persons did not exist. During the press conference, the officials denied being associated with any political party. They stressed that not even a single citizen’s data had been shared through any platform.

DG Zulfiqar said that an internal email was shown by a private channel which was not linked to the data leakage. He further said that the apex court had also appreciated NADRA over the actions on the overseas voting issue. “We have given an explanation to the ECP over the allegations of the data leakage,” he said. He further said that the authority was audited every year.