Pakistan: Developments regarding the issuance of the computerized national identity cards (CNICs); whether an individual who has a First Information Report (FIR) or an outstanding warrant of arrest against him/her can obtain a CNIC (November 2004 - May 2005)
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Ottawa|
|Publication Date||26 May 2005|
|Citation / Document Symbol||PAK100043.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Pakistan: Developments regarding the issuance of the computerized national identity cards (CNICs); whether an individual who has a First Information Report (FIR) or an outstanding warrant of arrest against him/her can obtain a CNIC (November 2004 - May 2005) , 26 May 2005, PAK100043.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/440ed74311.html [accessed 24 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Reports indicating changes in the physical features, application and issuance procedures, and policies on markings and alterations of the computerized national identity card (CNIC) could not be found among the sources published during the period covered by this Response and consulted by the Research Directorate.
According to information provided by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP),
[t]he information on the front side of the [national identity] card includes [the] holder's NIC number, [the] holder's name, father's name, identity mark such as birth mark, date of birth, signature of Registrar and holder's signature. The information on the backside of the card includes NIC number, family number, current address, permanent address, date of issuance of card, date of expiry of card and old NIC number (24 May 2005).
The HRCP also indicated that the CNIC "is not marked or altered in any way in order to indicate that the holder has voted in elections or applied for a passport" (24 May 2005). Further, the CNIC is "required for every purpose such as renting/buying a home, obtaining employment and admission, paying taxes, for affidavits, opening bank accounts, voting in elections, obtaining a passport, etc." (HRCP 24 May 2005). A copy of the front and back view of the CNIC was provided by the HRCP and has been attached to this Response.
In January 2005, Pakistan Observer, an Islamabad-based English-language newspaper reported that in an attempt to eliminate the issuance of more than one CNIC to a single individual, as well as to eliminate the acquisition of CNICs by fraudulent means, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), which is a government agency that issues the CNICs, introduced the Automated Finger Identification System (AFIS) (17 Jan. 2005). The AFIS will identify those who attempt to obtain a "duplicate or fake card" (Pakistan Observer 17 Jan. 2005). According to information reported by the article,
...possessing more than one CNIC is [a] violation of the law [and] citizens holding duplicate cards should surrender them forthwith. NADRA is likely to issue a warning to those attesters who have attested wrong credentials of CNIC applicants; such attesters could be awarded up to five years of imprisonment and fine of Rs 100,000 (ibid.) ([CDN $2,128.00] Bank of Canada 17 May 2005)
In 16 May 2005 correspondence to the Research Directorate, a Karachi-based lawyer indicated that an individual who has a First Information Report (FIR) or an outstanding warrant of arrest against him/her, can obtain a CNIC. This information was also stated in 24 May 2005 correspondence to the Research Directorate from the HRCP.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Bank of Canada. 17 May 2005. "Exchange Rates."
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Lahore. 24 May 2005. Correspondence.
Lawyer, Karachi. 16 May 2005. Correspondence.
Pakistan Observer [Islamabad]. 17 January 2005. "Pakistan: Automated Finger Identification System to Check CNICs Duplication APP Report: 'NADRA Activates AFIS to Eliminate Duplication of CNIC'." (WNC)
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Lahore. 24 May 2005. A colour copy of the front and back view of the National Identity Card.
Additional Sources Consulted
The High Commission of Pakistan, in Ottawa, did not respond to a letter requesting information.
A second Karachi-based lawyer did not respond to a letter requesting information.
Internet sites, including: Amnesty International (AI), BBC, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2004, Dawn, European Country of Origin Information Network (ECOI), Freedom in the World 2004, Government of Pakistan, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).