Applicants complain about ID card delays
* Man still without ID card more than three years after applying
By Khawaja Naseer
LAHORE: The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) claims it issues computerised identity cards within 15 days of receiving applications, but people have complained about inordinate delays in the procedure.
In a visit to the NADRA regional office on Abbot Road, several people complained to Daily Times about delays in their applications and the objections placed on them.
One man, Salahuddin Zaheer, received an objection letter from NADRA regarding his application for a computerised identity card almost three years after he applied for one to the NADRA office on Abbot Road.
Zaheer submitted his form (application No 22,88,187) on June 12, 2002, with all required documents. On May 20, 2005, he received an ‘urgent’ letter of objection (Case No 18866) about an irregularity regarding his date of birth. “I had written my date of birth clearly on the form, but they had some trouble with it,” he said.
Zaheer says this delay has cost him a lot. “When I applied for the ID card I was a BCS (Bachelors of Computer Sciences) student at Punjab University. I graduated in 2003 and was able to get admission into Middlesex College (UK) for further studies. But because I didn’t have an ID card I couldn’t get a passport and I was unable to go.”
Farhat Waqar told Daily Times that she submitted her application in November 2003. Six months later, on April 17, she received an objection letter from the NADRA office. Ms Waqar said she removed the objection and sent the application again, but had not heard from the NADRA office since.
Qamar Jabbar applied for an ID card on April 20, 2004. Almost a year and several trips to the NADRA office later, he was finally issued an ID card in March. “They objected that the picture on my old ID card didn’t look like me. I was 18 then and I’m 40 now, so of course I don’t look the same. It took me many visits to the NADRA office to get this mess sorted out,” he said.
NADRA spokesman Farrukh Mushtaq said that if there are objections to an application, the applicant would normally receive an objection letter in seven or eight days. He said he was not aware of the details of Zaheer’s case, but promised to look into it.
Mushtaq said NADRA had received approximately 31.8 million applications before September 30, 2004, which was the deadline for applications with the lower fees (Rs 35 with manual form and Rs 60 at NADRA Swift Registration Centres).
He said that NADRA had issued approximately 30 million computerised ID cards. NADRA can produce 100,000 cards a day. It says it takes 20-30 days for a normal application to be processed and 8-15 days for an urgent one.