Strict legal action against foreigners after Aug 31 for obtaining CNICs illegally: Nisar

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237,000 NICs blocked, 29,000 passports cancelled in three years: NA told

ISLAMABAD, Aug 1 (APP): Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Monday said strict legal action would be taken against foreigners after August 31 for obtaining Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) illegally.

“Cases will be registered against those who have been living in the country by getting CNICs through unfair means after August 31 and they would be sent to prison. Such persons have only one month to surrender their Pakistani nationality,” Nisar said while addressing a press conference here.

He said after the deadline, such CNIC holders would be arrested, sent to jail and also repatriated to their mother countries.

The minister said the first phase of CNIC verification campaign had been completed successfully. The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) received around 2.6 million SMS (short message service) from the people to get their CNICs verified since the campaign was launched on July 1.

In addition, NADRA sent 1.8 million SMS while 2.24 million CNICs were verified which was almost 20 per cent of total number of cards in the country, he added.

“We have covered about one fifth of total CNIC holders during the first phase of verification campaign,” he said and termed the reverification of CNICs national duty.

“I am committed there can be no compromise on the security of the country as well as the nation. I will complete the task as earlier re-verification of mobile phone SIMs was also done through biometric system successfully,” he added.

Nisar revealed that some 23,000 people had so far been proved as intruders, around 25 per cent of them were confirmed as aliens. Four persons, he said, had voluntarily surrendered their CNICs, which were obtained illegally and hoped the number of such persons would increase.

“I assure that with the help of NADRA, media and people we will be able to throw the intruders out of the country,” he added.

Nisar said he was trying his best to undo wrongdoings of the previous governments by introducing reforms and strictly following standard procedures while issuing identity documents to the people.

He also announced Rs 10,000 prize each for the people for identifying fake Pakistani citizens.

Nisar said a high-level meeting on document verification issue would be called next week which would also be attended by heads of intelligence services.

Giving statistics about the CNICs that were cancelled for security reasons, the minister said 26 cards were cancelled in 2011, 493 in 2012, 6062 in 2013, 22,361 in 2014, 96,689 in 2015 and 111,540 in 2016.

On the issue of Rangers’ policing powers in Sindh, he said,”I hope there will be progress in the extension of powers to the paramilitary force. Delay in this regard is tantamount to put the lives of Rangers personnel in danger.”

He said recently the security personnel were martyred in Karachi but their culprits had not been traced till now. “The paramilitary force have to have legal cover as they curb criminals activities in the city.”

The minister said security forces personnel had put their lives on stake and their sacrifices should not be wasted for taking political mileage.

“We hope the extension of Rangers’ policing powers will not be delayed further. After the issuance of notification in this regard the Karachi operation will be further strengthened which was initiated in consultation with the provincial government to ensure peace in the mega city,” he added.

Replying to a question, he said, “So far 31 personnel of security forces have sacrificed their precious lives in the Karachi operation while 89 got injured.”

The Interior Minister said Rangers’ role should not be politicized as they were rendering services for peace in Karachi.

Visible reduction in crimes, he said, had been witnessed since the operation was launched in the city. Both the federal and provincial governments should carry forward the operation for complete restoration of peace there.

The minister said he would constitute a parliamentary committee to get complaints regarding blockade of CNICs.

He said a meeting of home and interior ministers of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) would be held in Islamabad on August 4.

Replying to a question, he said international airlines had been fined Rs 39.5 million out of which Rs 21 million was recovered and credited to the national kitty. This practice, he said, had helped curb the practice of sending deportees to Pakistan without verification of their identity from Pakistani authorities.

To a question about implementation status of National Action Plan (NAP), he said of total 20 points, there had been a satisfactory progress on 15. The operation against terrorism had almost controlled explosions in the country.

When asked about the Rangers’authority, he said it was for the whole of Sindh province. In 154 operations conducted in interior Sindh, around 533 individuals were apprehended, he added.

Besides common criminals, the arrested persons included 34 belonging to banned organizations, 24 drug smugglers, 10 smugglers, 16 separatists and 127 illegal aliens.

To a question about the Pakistani-origin British woman who was allegedly killed in Jhelum, the minister said investigations were underway, which would be completed after receipt of forensic report of her post mortem.