A day after Pakhtuns held protests in Lahore demanding issuance of computerised national identity cards (CNICs), National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) Chairman Usman Mobin said on Sunday that the ID cards of Afghan citizens had not been blocked because of their nationality or any prejudice.
The protesters, originally Afghans who have now been living in Lahore for years, held a demonstration outside Prime Minister Imran Khan's Zaman Park residence on Saturday, saying that the PML-N government had cancelled their ID cards due to which they were facing various problems, including those regarding enrolment of their children in schools.
They demanded that the prime minister intervene in the matter. PM Khan had directed the Nadra chairman to meet the protesters and resolve their issues.
Mobin today claimed that there were three main reasons behind the blocking of ID cards. He said that Afghan nationals were falsely declared as family members of those settled in Pakistan in exchange for money, so that they could be issued ID cards. However, when property disputes arose it would surface that they are, in fact, not related, so such ID cards would then be blocked.
A second reason he provided was that some refugee families who accepted money in exchange for 'voluntary' repatriation to Afghanistan would then return to Pakistan and get ID cards made again.
Thirdly, he claimed, was that some citizens retained Afghan passports while holding Pakistani ID cards, which is why they would then get blocked.
Mobin added that this issue had been ongoing for about 40 years now and "would not be resolved in a day". The Interior Ministry was forwarded some recommendations on the matter.
Nadra officials said earlier that they would only issue CNICs after completing all legal formalities.