Short title, extent, commencement. It extends to the whole of Pakistan 3. It shall come into force at once. Establishment of the Authority — 1 As soon as may be, but not lit later than thirty days after the commencement of this Ordinance, the Federal Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish an Authority to be known as the National Database and Registration Authority for carrying out the purposes of this Ordinance. Meetings of the Authority etc. Purpose, objects, functions and powers of the Authority.

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However, the views expressed in contributed articles are solely those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the EACPE.

The purpose of interviews was to assess how extensive the problem is and how the effected citizens may be helped. Another handful of states have a voluntary registration and identification program. A few additional countries such as Bangladesh and India are considering instituting such programs. States may wish to identify citizens for a variety of reasons including: Collection of Taxes, Participation in political process, Caring for special needs of citizens, Administration of Social welfare and Health care programs, Strengthening of Law and Order, Dispensation of Justice Allocation of resources, Distribution of opportunities, Recognition of marginalized groups Management of security threats and Natural Disasters.

The author considers the following Broad Principles in Registration of Citizens and issuance of identification documents as minimum elements of the program in a free and democratic society. Every program should begin with the premise that all habitual residents of the state are citizens of the State. The burden of proving otherwise is that of the State not of the individual. All mechanisms of acquiring citizenship in the Nationality law of the State shall be accepted as valid basis for registration of citizens and issuance of legal identification documents.

Individuals may support their claim to registration using a variety of State issued documents. The State shall accept all such documents at face value regardless of the department or level of Government. The State may also accept other non-State issued identifications such as educational certificates, employee cards, Utility bills, ration cards etc.

When individuals shall be required to produce state issued identifications shall be a matter of elaboration in the citizen registration legislation. Any future uses of such identification shall not be implemented without a through examination and open debate.

Only such information shall be collected or displayed in citizen registration or identification process as may be warranted by the stated goals of the program. Citizen registration or identification documents shall not cost the citizen any money unless the State is proposing to offer additional services that That were hitherto unavailable.

In case of denial of registration citizen shall have the right to administrative appeals, at no cost to the citizen. Requirements of registration shall be a clearly defined and The well publicized process with objectively established criteria with minimum possibility of abuse or corruption.

The registration legislation shall explicitly delineate populations exempt from requirements of registration. The preceding is by no means an exhaustive outline of applicable principles rather it is the minimum standard of conformance to equity and justice. It is in this light the author proposes an examination of citizen registration and identification program in Pakistan. This legislation was in effect from to The government has not publicly released any information about the efficiency or efficacy of the program or the agency or how this program has served public interest over the last 35 years.

It is possible that the original program was strategically or tactically flawed in achieving certain goals, nonetheless it was in effect for over quarter of a century, and the State must have known its merits and demerits. Why the NRA needed to be replaced with a brand new agency would have been a matter of great public interest.

The reasons for its replacement should have been shared with the public and the necessity of the new program should have been explained in detail to the public. If the GOP wanted to update methods of data collection and storage as in manual vs computerized then a brand new executive order and agency would hardly be justifiable.

Even higher costs The were imposed upon the citizens for a second time when the government promulgated a new ordinance and department. Add to that the burden of renewals and changes of information that falls on the citizens to keep the identification documents current.

The identification documents are essential for all; everyone is required to obtain them. The government has offered no new benefits or advantages to the citizens registering or acquiring new identification documents, state also retains physical ownership of the document; there is no justification for charging the citizen anything for the identification documents. Considering the above facts and the poverty of the vast majority of the citizenry, this program should have been paid from the general revenues of the state.

An essential service which will be needed by all citizens, which the state wants to implement. Such a service should not be funded as a user fee. Even a beggar on the street is a citizen, and needs the CNIC. If the government wants these cards to be up to date as in change of name, address etc. The only justification for charging for this service may be replacement of lost or misplaced cards. The author reviewed the National Registration Act and the executive order that replaced it National Database Registration Authority Ordinance The author examined the stated purposes, objects and functions of both instruments.

These are so vaguely phrased and imprecisely articulated that it is not possible to determine the real objectives of the programs. The ordinance is full of generalities with little by way of specifics. How are the civil servants charged with drawing up the regulations and detailed procedures supposed to get guidance from the legislation? The government has not released any factually relevant information about NADRA, on any aspect of its operation.

Since Pakistan does not have a strong tradition of transparency and disclosure The author is concerned about reaction of NADRA in respect of releasing real and relevant information or telling the truth. Without access to actual performance or benchmarks the real value of the two programs is very difficult to assess. How then do the reviewers of the program arrive at an educated assessment about the effectiveness of this State program? The author can reach the individual citizens who have had an encounter with the program or can examine consequences created by the program and its implementation.

Ordinance and Objections The author considers the following flaws structurally or procedurally significant. Article 6. Who runs the agency anyway and what is its purpose. Any public agency with multiple masters and no definite mandate is fatally handicapped.

Article 7. The nature and purpose of liaison is not stated. Article 8 2 the authority may provide, extend or withdraw any right, interest, privilege, benefit, reward or advantage to the citizens to incentivize compliance with the law. The rights of citizens are determined by the constitution and may neither be infringed nor derogated for any class of citizens. The author is not aware of any incentives offered by the state to encourage participation of the citizens.

Article Unfortunately this provision indicates how out of touch the legislation is from realities of everyday life. In an open and democratic society very little is final. Good governance always calls for internal review procedures, appeals, and litigation if necessary. However the best approach is to provide the citizens redress at the lowest level, and then if necessary at progressively higher levels. The citizen may take up the matter in a court of competent jurisdiction at any time should that be their choice.

Government shall abide by the judgments of internal reviews and the courts. Article 20 The power of the Federal Government to exempt certain individuals or class of individuals from requirements of the ordinance are unnecessarily broad and unspecific.

The authority or any person authorized by it in this behalf may require a person who has given any information to furnish such documentary evidence of the truth of that information as it is within the power of that person.

Article 38 a and b the authority submits annual reports and forecasts to the federal and provincial governments. Again and again there is confusion about roles of Federal vs. All reports should be published and accessible to any citizen. From start to finish, the ordinance contains no measures for dealing with public complaints against the ordinance, or the agency.

Nor are there any measures for public disclosure or safeguards against improper operational practices at any level. The ordinance does not specify the fees to be charged to the public for various functions it performs or any provision for citizens who are paupers.

Review of National Laws and International Norms Some of the provisions of the citizen registration laws are in conflict with international norms, which Pakistan has signed or ratified. Here are just a few examples: Restrictions on the movement of citizens within and outside the country due to lack of legal identity are violation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights Articles Inability of parents to register births due to lack of legal identity is a violation of the Covenant on the Rights of the Child Article 7.

Similar inability of the parents to enroll children in schools is a violation of the article Citizens who are unable to vote or stand for public office for lack of legal identity is a violation of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 25b. The provincial government of Sindh is requiring employers to ask for copies of employee identity cards. Persons without Identity cards can also be prevented from boarding public transportation such as trains and airplanes.

Review of Local Practices The author visited Pakistan sometime ago to investigate and assess the situation on the ground. Before arrival in the country, The author placed a small advertisement in one of the local Urdu- language papers in Karachi and invited individuals who had been refused a CNIC to contact the author.

The author scheduled approximately two dozen interviews at a camp office in Karachi. Ninety five percent of the individuals interviewed had been born in Pakistan and all were members of a minority groups. Although no economic data was gathered but they all appeared to be working poor.

Sixty five percent were married, and had 4. The author met several individuals who have a valid birth certificate but have been denied CNIC. According to the Pakistani nationality law, any person born in Pakistan without reference to the status or nationality of the parents or grandparents is a citizen of Pakistan.

Thus if a person born in Pakistan produces a birth certificate, there is no basis for denial of CNIC to such a person. Furthermore, any person whose parents or grandparents without distinction of gender-maternal or paternal or residency requirements were citizens of Pakistan is a Pakistani.

The author came across several cases of individuals whose parents father or mother had CNIC but the children upon reaching age of majority are being denied CNIC. Persons who are being denied nationality are permanent residents of Pakistan. These individuals consider themselves to be Pakistanis. They have not ever held any other nationality. They cannot be deported to another country, nor is there another country willing to accept them.

Typically when these persons present themselves for a new identity card they have to surrender the NIC. Their cards are confiscated and their applications are denied. They are left without any legal identification.

In most countries if one has been issued a passport it becomes their proof of citizenship in the country. Not so in Sindh, Pakistan. The author came across an individual who was a retired enlisted man, was a Pakistani soldier and a POW in India for three years until his official repatriation to Pakistan.


Afnan Karim Kundi

The Unattended Orphans Rehabilitation and Welfare Bill, calls upon the government to establish a welfare fund with an initial grant of Rs50 million and contribute to the fund from time to time. Under the bill, the government is bound to provide free education, books, writing material, clothes, uniform and other relevant articles to the unattended orphans, send them to the child abode, provide them vocational training and gainful employment and, if required, take other measures as may be necessary for their rehabilitation and welfare. Every unattended orphan will be registered in accordance with the provisions of the National Database and Registration Authority Nadra Ordinance, Every child abode established under the act or prior to it as well as every orphanage established in the private sector shall be registered with Nadra. The governing authority of a child abode or an orphanage will designate a guardian for the children.


Citizen Registration: Tool of Inclusion or Alienation

However, the views expressed in contributed articles are solely those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the EACPE. The purpose of interviews was to assess how extensive the problem is and how the effected citizens may be helped. Another handful of states have a voluntary registration and identification program. A few additional countries such as Bangladesh and India are considering instituting such programs.


Purchasing a plane or train ticket Obtaining a mobile phone SIM card Obtaining electricity, gas, and water Securing admission to college and other post-graduate institutes [1] Conducting major financial transactions [3] Setting up a business [1] Thus, it can be seen as a de facto necessity for meaningful civic life in Pakistan. However, since some births in the country are not registered, and some Pakistanis do not conduct any of the activities described above, a few do not have ID cards. Until , NIC numbers were 11 digits long. The old manual NIC numbers are invalid as of 1 January The SNIC can be used for both offline and online identification, voting, pension disbursement, social and financial inclusion programmes and other services. Security features[ edit ] In order to address the security concerns, NADRA have incorporated 36 security features in the physical design of the card, making it one of the securest cards in the world. The card is printed in multiple layers and each layer has its own security features.

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