Over 90,000 NICs blocked in Balochistan

QUETTA: National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) blocked almost 90,000 national identity cards (NIC) as most them were suspiciously released to foreigners.

On the condition of not releasing the name, NADRA sources told that many of the cards have been blocked in the regions of Quetta and Qilla’a Abdullah.

It is also reported, for the verification of the identity cards, committees have been established in at least 32 districts of Balochistan.

Earlier, in September last year, it was revealed that NADRA had issued hundreds of identification cards without any proper verification process. It was learnt that the thousands of identification cards which were issued during the month of April and August were done without legally verifying the people’s identity. It is a rule to properly check in a person’s recognition before handling over the ID cards.

NADRA learnt the error that occurred during the issuing process and instructed the authorities to halt all identification card’s process until a person’s identity was not properly looked at.

In the same month last year, it was also suspected that the entire database of Pakistani nationals has been leaked out to foreign companies and spies through a leak. The information was given out by Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI.

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) stated their suspicion officially to the National Data base and Registration Authority Chief.

We [the agency] can’t rule out the possibility of leakage of sensitive database [of Pakistanis] to hostile agencies – the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Mossad, according to a report by ISI.

The doubt was made on the ground that “the thumb-digitizer system the registration body uses was purchased from a French company of Israeli origin.”

The Automatic Finger Print Identification System (AFIS) which is worth  around $10 million was purchased in 2004 by NADRA from Segem company; which is a French company. After getting the information, it has now been revealed that the company might have been of ‘Israeli origin’

ISI had instructed NADRA to develop their own software or hardware so that privacy is maintained and also stated that care shpuld be carried out if purchase from foreign sources is necessary. ISI also stated that deals should be made with friendly or somewhat trustworthy states rather than with hostile or rouge states.

However, NADRA clarified its position. “NADRA database is a closed one, that is, it is not available on [the] internet. So, there are no chances of hacking or leaking. Indeed, Segem was the only firm until 2004 dealing in such software.  In international market, there was no other finger print recognition system available in the world,” Claim of a Senior Tech Expert.

Moreover, in May last year, over 1,00,000 identity cards were blocked by NADRA.