ISLAMABAD, May 27 (APP): Minister for Interior, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Friday said a deadline has been set to re-verify all Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) in six months.

“It is a question of state and I will not refrain from any actions to safeguard its territories. We will carry out re-verification of all identity cards in a time span of six months while two months will be given to those who have fake identity cards and passports to get them blocked,” he said.

Briefing the mediapersons after chairing a meeting with officials of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and Immigration and Passport Office here, he said, the country is facing an emergency-like situation and adopting such measures are necessary to confirm identities of nationals.

Ch. Nisar said the re-verification of such a huge database of citizens seems difficult but when there is a commitment nothing is impossible and added that earlier re-verification of mobile phone SIMs was also done through biometric system successfully.

He said with a view to save people from unnecessary botheration, it has been decided to focus on 25 million families for verification of identity cards.

The Minister gave two months for holders of fake national identity cards or passports or officials of NADRA and Passport Office who helped issue such documents to reveal information themselves.

He said if they voluntarily reveal or identify fake cards and passports, no action would be taken. Otherwise, legal action would be taken against holder of fake identity card or passport and he could get seven year imprisonment and officials responsible for issuance of such cards or passports would get fourteen years of imprisonment.

Ch. Nisar said a reward scheme is also being launched under which those giving information about presence of foreigners with Pakistani identity card or passport would be rewarded. A helpline is being established for the purpose, besides, another helpline to redress grievances of those who might have genuine grievances during the exercise for re-verification of national identity cards.

The Minister said NADRA has been directed not to block identity card of any citizen until and unless there is 90% evidence of some fraudulent activity surrounding issuance of such a card.

The Minister said a bipartisan Parliamentary Committee would be formed to oversee the entire process to ensure its transparency.

He said like NADRA, Directorate of Immigration and Passports is also being declared as essential service for six months to ensure smooth implementation of reform measures.

The Minister said the number of Director Generals (DGs) of NADRA has been reduced from existing 26 to 10 only.

Interior Minister, Ch. Nisar said he had issued 48 hours notice to NADRA to come up with a plan to verify all the issued CNICs. This, he said, has created huge criticism which many saying that it had would be a waste of time and resources.

However, there can be no compromise on security of the nation.

“It is unbearable for any sovereign and democratic nation that its citizenship is being sold,” lamented Nisar who said government officials involved in issuing falsified documents had sold the sanctity and solidarity of the country.

Nisar said that Wali Muhammad’s NIC was issued manually in 2001 but no action was taken. His passport was issued in 2005 and was renewed in 2011 and was due for renewal in October of the current year.

He said this was not an excuse that it was issued by previous government rather it is a matter of institution and added that only 25 passports were blacklisted in 2006, 37 in 2007, 12 in 2008, 25 in 2009 and 361 passports were blacklisted during 2010-12 while during last two years of his tenure 29,000 passports were blacklisted.

Similarly, he said, during last five months 1,12,000 CNICs have been blocked as against over 90,000 last year.

Answering a question, he said every head of the family would be sent a letter by NADRA asking him to verify members of his family.