PESHAWAR - The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) have blocked computerised national identity cards (CNIC) of thousands of genuine nationality holders without providing any reason.

The situation has inflicted heavy financial losses including visa expiry upon the people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

Instead of nabbing corrupt officials who were making CNICs for Afghan nationals, the authority has now started taking revenge from the innocent Pakhtuns who are permanent residents of the country from the very first day. Even identity cards of such people were blocked whose father and grandfather were receiving pensions from the national kitty while their sisters and brothers possess original identity cards.

Sharing his saga with The Nation, Shehzad Khan son of Murad Gul, a resident of Bhanamari Peshawar said that his father got all his documents and national identity card verified in 2012 and despite that his card was blocked. His grandfather Mohammad Gul had served in a government department and retired in 1984. After Mohammad death in 1993, his widow was still receiving pension with his original CNIC.

Despite that, the CNIC of his father, Murad, was still blocked due to which he was also facing inconvenience in getting a new national identity card. Despite paying Rs2,000 for verification and attestation of his father’s documents to Intelligence Bureau officer, the card was still blocked which caused multifarious problems for the entire family.

He further said that he could not get a driving license due to non-availability of CNIC and that is the reason that he could not drive to earn livelihood for his family.

He said that he does not know how to receive justice, as despite two time verification, NADRA officials were least bothered to resolve his case. The proof was enough that his siblings possess CNIC besides his grandmother was receiving pension till now.

Another resident of Buner, on the condition of anonymity, said that he is extremely poor and a permanent resident of the country. He said he was working in Oman but after getting his card blocked now he could not apply for passport renewal. He said that the government instead of providing jobs to the poor people has deprived them of the existing visa. He said he had paid Rs0.4 million for the visa.

“I repeatedly visited the NADRA office and presented my verification documents duly attested by the grade-17 officers but they are still not guiding me, rather telling me to wait for further process,” he said.

NADRA Peshawar Director-General Gohar Marwat, when contacted, was not available for comments despite repeated attempts on his official phone number for two days.

However his secretary told that verification process was very complicated and it will take some time to reach the final conclusion.

Another official on the condition of anonymity told The Nation that the verification staff had locked their door due to the frequent complaints and visits of the affected people.

One of the affected persons, Zahid Alam, who spent Rs0.5 million on his visa has threatened to commit suicide if his CNIC was not restored within a week.

He said that before blocking the cards on suspicion basis, NADRA officials should first contact these persons to have a detailed interview and ask about the problem in the identity of their parents. However, unfortunately they have not been trained to facilitate the poor but trained to complicate their affairs, Alam said.

A resident of Peshawar Wajid Khan Ahmadzai said that he personally knows dozens of Afghan national families who obtained CNICs through unfair means but are still enjoying Pakistan nationality without a fear of law enforcing agencies.

“I have a detailed list of those who have made fake Pakistani identity cards and if NADRA and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) are so sincere then why an action is not being taken against them,” he remarked.

“Being a patriotic citizen of the country I have handed over a list to number of government agencies including FIA, Intelligence Bureau, Special Branch, NADRA and Interior Ministry despite threats, but still influential refugees were enjoying Pakistani nationality at the cost of poor,” he added. There are also speculations that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government in the garb of Afghan refugees set score with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government in KP to reduce its vote bank and to avert its possible victory in the upcoming general elections of 2018.

Without prior information blocking the CNICs of genuine people by NADRA has raised an outcry in the province. The poor people who are facing severe unemployment now could not apply for visa and passport as their CNICs have been blocked.

The affected people have humbly requested Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to unblock their cards immediately and if there is any reservation, NADRA may contact the families.