ISLAMABAD - Islamabad police Sunday claimed to have arrested two members of criminal gang of Iran nationals who have been issued computerised national identity cards, an embarrassing development that put a serious question mark on the credibility of Nadra (National Database and Registration Authority).

The gang comprising four Iranians includes a young lady and police said they have been involved in various crimes of heinous nature in the federal capital. They all had managed to get CNIC of Pakistan and have been living here for several years.

A team of Kohsar Police arrested Mohammad Ehsan, the ring leader and his associate Sumera Irani, mother of a child, two days back from jurisdiction of Kohsar police station. However, their other two companions managed to escape.

Police said that accused Ehsan got himself registered with Nadra as Farhat Khan s/o Abdul Rauf with residential address: House No 20, Mohalla Sheet, Model Colony, Karachi. His Pakistani CNIC number is 42101-5988357-9. Likewise, Sumera Irani is registered with Nadra with the same address and CNIC number 42201-8744423-8. Police registered an FIR under section 420/468/471/14-F and 179 PPC on Sunday and started investigating the case.

When contacted, Station House Officer of Kohsar Police confirmed the arrests and said police was raiding suspected places to get hold of the other members of this gang. He, however, said police was yet to get verification of documents which they had recovered from custody of accused.

The arrest of Iranians having Pakistani nationality cards have endorsed Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s claim that Nadra has not been doing well over the years. The case has also raised question about the integrity of Nadra which has long been accused of issuing CNICs to illegal immigrants, especially the Afghan nationals. Sources say the practice of issuing CNIC to illegal immigrants was still going on, a charge Nadra has long been denying.

Recovery of a Pakistani CNIC from the possession of Abdolmalek Rigi, an Iranian terrorist and head of Jundallah group in 2010, badly dented Nadra’s claim of having a secure registration system.

 The card was recovered by Iranian security personnel when Rigi was arrested while travelling on a flight heading to an Arab country via Pakistan on Feb 23, 2010. The interior ministry claimed that it was a fake card, and not issued by the Nadra.