LHC Petition

After a petition filed in the Lahore High Court challenging the requirement of the husband’s name on the CNIC for issuance of a passport, the court has urged a response from the federal government, the Director General of Immigration and Passports, and Nadra. In the spirit of law, Nadra allows women to keep the name of their fathers on the National Identification Card, after marriage. But the requirement of the passport office is coming to clash with this law. Hence a petition was filed in the LHC.
Denying the documents and passport applications on this basis is equivalent to complicating a process that should otherwise be very simple and accessible for all citizens, especially women. Rising from an already disadvantageous position in society, the legal process and documentation should only facilitate women. However, not processing a passport application because a woman chooses to retain her father’s name on her CNIC after marriage is both a violation of law as well as adding to the layers of problems that women in the country already face.
Ideally, the Director General of Immigration and Passports should internally verify information. If it seeks further information, it can incorporate it into its procedural process and can add additional boxes to get the information it seeks. Persuading women into renewing their CNICs, in contrast with Nadra’s legal provisions, is overstepping its boundaries. Even beyond this one instance, the environment in the country is very frustrating for women.
From the refusal of the Benazir Income Support Program to extend support to unmarried women to this case in point, there is a whole canvas of blockades that limit opportunities for women and restrain them from earning life and living for themselves. All these systematic barriers must be put down and ease must be created in procedures and processes. All government institutions must ensure that their procedures are convenient and sensitive towards women. The LHC petition can become a good starting point where the federal government can set a precedent for women-friendly processes.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt