Saudi Arabian authorities have disclosed that they’ve recovered more than 12,000 Pakistani passports from Afghan nationals. This has raised concerns about how Pakistan’s institutions are functioning. The Ministry of Interior in Pakistan has formed a committee to investigate this. This committee includes people from the Interior Ministry, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and other government agencies. Their job is to find out who is responsible for these fake passports and make a list of them. The law will then take its course, and these individuals will be dealt with accordingly. The situation involves Afghan citizens obtaining fake passports from several passport centers in Pakistan.
The Chairman of the National Database Registration Authority (Nadra), Lieutenant General Munir Afsar, revealed to senators that some of his organization’s employees have been involved in creating fake Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs).
This disclosure came during a meeting of the Senate Committee on Interior, where they discussed the problems of fake CNICs, citizens’ family data being sold on the black market, and the issuance of multiple SIM cards using a single CNIC for illegal activities.
The Nadra chairman said that action has been taken against employees who engaged in any illegal activities, and about 84 officials have been suspended as a result. However, he mentioned that the absence of a law dealing with privacy matters has made it difficult to punish these employees. The Senate panel recommended using modern methods to address these issues.
This issue arises because the government of Pakistan has given an ultimatum, telling all illegal foreign residents to leave the country by the end of October. This move has been criticized by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) for unfairly targeting Afghan people.
However, the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) has assured that Afghan nationals who are legally staying in Pakistan will not face harassment or arrest. Recently, the process of evacuating Afghan people living illegally in Pakistan began, with 16 trucks carrying 20 families arriving at the Torkham border. Once they meet the legal requirements, these 20 families, totaling 350 people, will be allowed to enter Afghanistan.
Pakistan has been home to millions of refugees for many years, including up to five million Afghan refugees at one point. Though official records show a lower number of individuals with valid refugee cards.