Reports that NADRA, which was supposed to be a safe house to secure database of all citizens of Pakistan, has become a source for issuing fake identification documents is very disturbing. The working of NADRA impacts directly on our national security. Every sovereign nation compiles a data base of their nationals to prevent aliens and terrorists to assume a fake identity for ulterior motives. What else other than illegitimate purposes would somebody resort to having a fake identification, whether it be a national identity card or a passport? Billions have been invested in this project which to run efficiently required services of professionally qualified IT and Computer Science specialists, instead of being reduced to yet another institution to be dedicated to welfare of cronies or retired officers of our uniformed services. Those involved in this racket have compromised not only our national security, but the international credibility of our passports and national identity cards. Why were billions invested in making intelligent machine passports and NIC, if those entrusted with the task were not to be properly scrutinised, or qualified nor monitored. The fact that this lapse has occurred and was not exposed by the security within the system, shows that things are seriously wrong within NADRA and our intelligence services such as FIA. Mere denials by officials will not serve any purpose. Things were so wrong that nothing happened till the matter was reported in the international media. Mere suspension of those involved in this corruption will be an eyewash and only serve to encourage others to indulge in this anti-state activity. A severe punishment is necessary to serve as a deterrence.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, July 24.