ISLAMABAD - The children without known parentage will now have the fundamental rights to be the citizens of Pakistan and get an identity under section 9 of NADRA Ordinance 2000, as National Database and Registration Authority Friday announced to issue smart ID cards free of cost to those orphans residing in registered orphanages.

As the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has started the issuance of smart ID (identity) cards for children under the age of 18, the authority said that orphans residing in registered orphanages would get these smart ID cards free of cost. The authority has already launched chip-based smart national identity card (SNIC) for adult population of Pakistan.

Previously, the children without known parentage could not get themselves registered with NADRA in Pakistan, they were unable to get computerised national identity card (CNIC) and thus were being deprived of their fundamental to be the citizens of Pakistan.

Empowering socially destitute children with identity was a long-standing initiative of NADRA, which now has eventually seen a prospect of success in naming the parents of unknown parentage of orphans across the country, said Chairman NADRA Tariq Malik addressing management committee meeting. The chairman said, “The authority has always shown its unflinching commitment both at policy and technical levels. Now children without known parentage will have the fundamental right to be the citizens of Pakistan and get an identity under section 9 of NADRA Ordinance 2000.”

With the completion of registration process of orphanages, no individual (orphan) can be deprived of his fundamental rights as ensured in the constitution of the country said Chairman NADRA while addressing the meeting.

The chairman informed that the authority had held extensive consultation with religious scholars in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan, including the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII). Subsequently, the authority is now all set to automate the data capturing process of orphans in the smart card. Prior to the registration of orphans, it is mandatory that all the orphan houses of the country are registered with NADRA. The authority has asked all the orphanages to comply with the requirement that calls for the provision of complete filling of registration form with all data record and detail of children held by orphanages. Orphanage must be registered under Federal/Provincial orphanage Act, and orphanage will provide CNIC of the guardian.

In case of unknown parentage, orphanage will provide an affidavit stating the supposed names of parents.

The NADRA has announced that smart card to such orphans would be issued purely on gratis basis i.e. free of cost. In this connection, NADRA mobile teams are gearing up to visit registered orphanages all across country to finalise the process of issuance of smart card to such children.

After thorough deliberation and analysis of data to meet success, the NADRA has started registering orphans as pilot test on 5th August 2013. On achievement of success the smart card registration of orphans living in the registered orphanages has been declared open and publicly announced on 20 August 2013. All the registered orphanages have been electronically linked with NADRA system. NADRA has so far registered about 1100 orphans and the number is on the increase with launch of smart card for children recently. Moreover, the NADRA is working to put vaccination record, orphanage/guardian information, education record and other vital information on the chip of smart card.