ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Saturday appealed to all the political parties to help the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) identify unregistered voters so that they could be provided with computerised national identity cards (CNICs), which were mandatory for casting vote in the upcoming general elections.

The prime minister expressed these views after a briefing by Nadra Chairman Muhammad Tariq Malik who called on him at the PM’s House on the progress made so far regarding issuance of CNICs to the citizens.

Raja directed the Nadra chief to launch an awareness campaign to persuade people to get CNICs so that they were not disenfranchised. He said the government was committed to hold free, fair and impartial elections and Nadra should, therefore, ensure that all registered voters have CNICs before the next elections.

The prime minister was informed that 452 national registration centres, 252 mobile registration units and 70 semi-mobile units are working throughout the country for registering adults in remote and far-flung areas, while special arrangements have been made for registration of women. In this connection, he said, Friday had been dedicated for registration of women adults and eleven Nadra centres with female staff were facilitating them in acquiring CNICs.

The prime minister appreciated the efforts of Nadra chairman, who informed him that they had so far managed to register 99.5 per cent voters in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 99 per cent in Punjab, 89 per cent in Gilgit-Baltistan while 88 per cent in Sindh and FATA. In Balochistan, only 76 per cent of population had been registered so far.