ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Friday said re-verification of Computerized National Identity Cards (CNIC) of all Pakistani citizens would be carried out within the next six months, warning fake ID card holders with punishment up to seven years.Speaking to media at the NADRA headquarters, the minister said 25 million families would be targeted in the exercise to make the verification process easier.

He said head of a family would help NADRA expunge names of imposters from family tree.

He said the country is facing an emergency-like situation, while hinting that measures are necessary to confirm identities of nationals. “It is a question of the state and I will not refrain from any actions to safeguard its territories.”

He issued a 2-month deadline to fake ID card holders to surrender their cards as they may have to face seven year jail term for the crime once the deadline lapsed.

Nisar said the government officials involved in issuing the fake ID cards would be sent to jail for 14 years if they didn’t identify the people who obtained the fake IDs.

“I will personally monitor the exercise…nobody will be spared,” he said. “I was told that it is an impossible task and would cost a lot of money, he said. He said the issue was related to Pakistan’s security and he would make it possible like verification of millions of mobile phone SIMS.

“We have blocked as many as 0.12 million identity cards in a matter of few months while 120 million SIM cards were verified,” he added.

He said a helpline would be set up for citizens to help authorities identify foreigners with fake Pakistani identity.

Regarding Nadra, the security czar said he has removed 16 of the director generals, bringing them to 10 now. “Any official of the authority or the passport directorate involved in the wrongdoing will have to face punishment.”

“No foreigner was awarded a Pakistani nationality since I assumed office as an interior minister,” he said.

The interior minister said rewards would also be given to the citizens for providing information on foreigners.

Nisar said passport of Mullah Mansour was issued in 2001 and would have been caught if it had been brought for verification.

On Thursday, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had confirmed that Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour, killed in a US drone strike on May 21 in Balochistan, was travelling on fake documents – CNIC and passport.

According to Nisar, the emergence of CNIC of Mullah Mansoor under fake identity of Wali Muhammad had sent a message to the world that anyone could acquire Pakistani CNIC.

The minister called on the civil society, media and judiciary to support the government in its initiative.