Islamabad - The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has unearthed a big racket that was facilitating people in obtaining fake computerised national identity cards (CNICs) from National Database and Registration Authority with the help of NADRA employees.

The NADRA has been in headlines for some months as a number of its employees have been found involved in issuance of fake CNICs (computerised national identity cards) to foreign nationals, mostly Afghans.

According to a recent report of the country’ premier intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, some NADRA employees of Karachi office have helped terrorists get fake national identity cards.

An FIA official of anti-corruption circle Islamabad said that Assistant Director NADRA, Shahid Yousaf was arrested the other day for allegedly issuing fake CNICs on fake documents. “We have obtained his physical remand from the court,” he said. He said that the official was allegedly the member of the big racket that was helping in issuance of fake identity cards to Afghan nationals. He said that further investigations into the case were under way.

However, NADRA spokesman Sammad Khurram said that Shahid Yousaf was the ex-employee of NADRA who remained posted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that incumbent chairman NADRA had sacked him in April this year after he was found guilty of issuing fake CNICs during an internal inquiry.

The recent ISI report said that 40 NADRA officials in Karachi office have been involved in issuance of fake national identity cards to terrorists and members of militant organisations including al-Qaeda. The intelligence agency had to carry out the scrutiny process after the law enforcement agencies recovered Pakistani passports and CNICs from the possession of a number of local and foreign terrorists who were either killed or apprehended during operations.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan recently told reporters that NADRA issued some 26 fake CNICs in 2011, 493 in 2012, 6,000 in 2013, 22,000 in 2014 and 64,000 this year. He however, said that all of these cards had been blocked.

According to another report of the ministry of interior, around 9,000 non-Pakistanis managed to sneak into the well secured passport system of Pakistan and tricked immigration authorities by succeeding in getting Pakistani passports during the last few years.

The report quoting data of directorate general of immigration and passports (DGI&P) says that as many as 8,628 non-nationals managed to get Pakistani passports during the last six years, 2008-2014.

A report says that different security and intelligence agencies identified 8,628 foreigners who were holding Pakistani passports during the last six years.

The issue of illegal issuance of computerised national identity cards and passports to foreigners, especially Afghan nationals, has been haunting Pakistani authorities for quite some time, especially after 9/11, due to the volatile security situation in the country.

The passport office shifts the blame on to NADRA by saying that such passports in the possession of foreigners were issued on the basis of CNICs they had obtained illegally from NADRA.

The ministry of interior in a report submitted to the parliament said that 4,920 CNICs were issued illegally in Balochistan alone during the last two years. The report says these illegal CNICs were issued from various centres of NADRA in Balochistan and most of these cards have been issued to foreigners.