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ISLAMABAD, Dec 18 (APP): Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad on Friday said that 50 new National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) centres would be opened across the country particularly in far-flung areas to facilitate the people.

Talking to media persons at NADRA Headquarters here the minister said that provision of various facilities to the common people was government’s top priority adding that NADRA centres would be extended to the far-flung areas of the country.

He said it was decided to issue ordinary computerized national identity card (CNIC) to the poor people free of cost within 15 days.

β€œNADRA will issue the first CNIC free of cost within fifteen days, instead of forty days,” he said.

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The minister said passport and ID cards offices would be opened in all the embassies of Pakistan under the supervision of NADRA and with the support the Foreign Office.

He said the number of NADRA mobile vans would also be increased to 300 to facilitate the people residing in far off areas of the country.

Sheikh Rasheed said the government was fully committed to resolving problems being faced by the oversees Pakistanis. He assured that issues of overseas Pakistani would be resolved on priority.

To a question, the minister said currently 16,000 employees including 3,000 on contract were working in NADRA.

No contract employee would be laid off, he said.

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To a question, he said that there were around 700,000 registered Afghan people in the country.

Regarding alliance of opposition parties Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the minister said that it seemed that PDM would take part in the coming Senate elections. Senate elections could be held any time during February 12 to March 12, he added.

Imran Khan, he said, was going nowhere and the government under his leadership would complete its five-year constitutional tenure.

To a query, the minister said currently Pakistan has no agreement with the United Kingdom for extradition of the criminals.

Earlier, the minister was briefed by Chairman NADRA Usman Mobeen about the function of the organization.