Cordial Pakistan-India Ties To Herald Prosperity: Nisar

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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that every effort by Islamabad has proved futile due to lack of trust and stubbornness on the part of New Delhi.

“The dream of progress and prosperity of people of the two countries and development and peace in the region cannot be achieved till relations of Pakistan and India are free of mutual animosity and distrust,” Nisar said on Tuesday.

The interior minister was talking to Pakistani High Commissioner-designate to India Sohail Mahmood, who called on him in Islamabad.  According to an official statement, matters pertaining to Pakistan-India relations and regional situation came under discussion during the meeting.

Interior Minister Nisar said cordial relations between Pakistan and India were a cornerstone for development and prosperity of people of both the countries. “Resolution of long-standing issues between the two countries is essential for sustainable and lasting peace in the region,” he added.

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Expressing hope that Mehmood would utilise all his capacity to fulfill his responsibilities and protect interest of Pakistan, he said the responsibility entrusted to him as a high commissioner was a challenge.

The interior minister also attended a ceremony at headquarters of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for soft launch of its mega centre in Lahore and executive passport offices (EPOs) in Sargodha and Faisalabad.

Speaking on the occasion, Nisar said NADRA has decided to utilise the infrastructure and human resource of the Pakistan Post throughout the country in a bid to expand its existing network to manifold

“As a pilot project, 10 post offices have been selected where NADRA facilities such as renewal and modification of the Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) would be available within a month and a half,” he said.

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Nisar said within a year or so NADRA service centres would be increased to 1,500 from the existing 557 centres in collaboration with post offices. Initially, the post offices would offer facilities of renewal and modification of the CNICs only.

Nine NADRA mega centres, which remain open beyond routine office hours, and 12 executive passport offices, which are one-window passport facilities for those who are willing to pay some extra money, would be functional by September in all four provinces.

The minister said these mega centres would soon be functioning round the clock, while the extra charges for special treatment at executive passport offices would be phased out. Nisar also announced that each district of the country would have a passport office by August-September this year.

“When we took over in 2013, there were only 88 passport offices across the country. We have established 84 new centres and another 16 are in process. Every district will have a passport office by August,” he said.

No more CNICs will be blocked now: Nisar

Nisar said 30,000 passports and around 0.2 million CNICs had been cancelled by the incumbent government since they were suspicious and many of them had been obtained by foreigners.

“These measures will help the cause of national security,” Nisar said, adding that passports and CNICs had been up for sale during the previous governments due to which many foreigners also obtained the Pakistan identity cards.  To a question, Nisar said 160,000 CNICs had been unblocked.

He said NADRA had changed its policy vis-à-vis suspicious ID cards. From now on, the authority would serve a notice upon holder of a suspicious ID card but would not block or cancel it before an inquiry.

 

Courtesy: Express Tribune

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