Efforts on to emend existing rules: Nadra

ISLAMABAD - National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) is working out a plan to prepare a comprehensive policy and amend rules that would enable the abandoned children with unknown parentage for registration in national database and get the CNICs. Up till now, Nadra cannot register children with unknown parentage as the existing rules and regulations and Nadra Ordinance itself does not allow it to do so. Deputy Chairman NADRA, Tariq Malik in a press statement said Nadra had even contacted the lawmaking authorities to clarify and update the rules in this regard. He said that though Nadras actual role is to just register the citizens under the rules of Nadra Ordinance but the authority was striving hard to help the children with unknown parentage by initiating some measures to help assess the actual number of such children residing in different orphan houses. While elaborating the efforts, Tariq Malik said that Nadra had extensively pursued this goal at different forums for finalisation of policy but its due results could not be materialised for the reasons that were not under Nadras control. He said that the issue of naming parentage of abandoned children was a sensitive religious matter and in order to sort out this issue, Nadra also sought decree (fatwa) from Shia and Sunni scholars in Iran and Saudi Arabia respectively along with referring of this case to Council of Islamic Ideology (CII). The CCI had opined, No specific name could be given. This will create complexes in the minds of the minors hence any name may be mentioned in parentage or if guardian name is known it may be written. Nadra on special instructions of President of Pakistan will come out with a policy very soon. Policies need consultation of all stakeholders and that process is in near ending phase. All NGOs and orphanage houses are consulted, Said Tariq Malik, Deputy Chairman Nadra. There is a pending petition at Federal Shariat Court under reference No. 2/L of 2008 whereby it is informed about this difficulty being faced by the authority in registration of abandoned children and the matter is sub judice in the Federal Shariat Court as well as in Supreme Appellate Court of Gilgit-Baltistan. He said under the existing rules, the cases of orphan children are being processed on the production of guardianship certificate issued by the Guardian Court and a considerable number of such cases have been processed by Nadra including more than 40 children from Edhi foundation as well. He said that Nadra on its own contacted all NGOs, orphanages and charitable organisations to obtain the details of children with unknown parentage. He appealed to the NGOs to join hands with Nadra on the issue and help the government to make a policy about children with unknown parentage so that they can get registered in the national database and avail the facilities as the rest of the citizens of Pakistan did.

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