Sindh’s nationalist parties demand removal of interior minister, NADRA chief

  • Sindh Action Committee claims CNICs issued to ‘aliens’
  • Alleges NADRA of attempting to convert Sindhis into minority

KARACHI: While demanding cancellation of all CNICs issued in the recent past to what the nationalists allege ‘aliens’ by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) in the metropolis, the Sindh Action Committee, an alliance of the nationalist parties, on Wednesday demanded of the federal government to immediately remove Federal Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal and NADRA Chairman Usman Mubeen.

Sindh Action Committee that comprises alliance of the nationalists parties of the province include Sindh United Party (SUP), Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM-A), Awami Jamhori Party (AJP), Jeay Sindh Mahaz (JSM), Jeay Sindh Qaumparast Party, Sindh Sagar Party, Jeay Sindh Liberal Front, Thinkers Forum among others. They have staged a 72-hour hunger strike camp outside the authority’s mega-centre on Korangi Road.

The protesters were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the NADRA authorities and also chanted slogans against the federal as well as Sindh government for their alleged anti-Sindh policies.

While talking to Pakistan Today, Syed Zain Shah of SUP and the grandson of GM Syed said they were staging protest demonstration to put pressure on the authorities to cancel the CNICs issued to what they described as ‘aliens’ living in the province.

“The son of the soils are deprived of the CNICs in the province, however, the foreigners including Bengalis, Burmese, Afghani are being issued CNIC with the simplest way in return of a 50-rupee affidavit”, Zain Shah added.

“The Nadra authorities have put the Pakistani citizenship on sale in return for heavy bribes. The CNIC is issued to those who admit that he/she is not a Pakistani citizen and acknowledges he is Bengali, Burmi,” he said.

“Do the laws of citizenship, decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1997 and resolutions of the Sindh Assembly mean nothing to the authorities who are violating the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” SUP leader questioned.

JSQM leader Dr Niaz Kalani alleged that the Sindh government was facilitating the federal government and corrupt NADRA authorities in issuing CNICs to illegal immigrants. He demanded that the process of issuance of CNICs to illegal immigrants be stopped immediately and those already issued be declared null and void.

PML-N’s MPA Haji Shafi Muhammad Jamote said that the original people of Sindh had been running from pillar to post to get the CNIC, however, the Nadra authorities were issuing thousands of CNICs to the illegal immigrants. He said that the federal government must take serious notice of the situation and take to task those responsible.

“We are here on 72-hour hunger strike and after that, we would chalk out the future course of action tomorrow by meeting the stakeholders”, Amanullah Shaikh of Awami Jamhoori Party (AJP) said.

“The issuance of CNICs to illegal immigrants is a clear violation of the Constitution of Pakistan and the Citizenship Act of Pakistan. Nowadays if any foreigner wants to get a CNIC he should simply submit an affidavit to the Nadra authorities and hence he/she gets it”, he added.

Moreover, the Ministry of Interior has also introduced some amendments imposing restrictions on the sensitive question to ask anybody about his or her mother tongue, he said, adding that NADRA’s move was an attempt to convert Sindhis, a majority, into the minority.

“The recent census has proved that Sindhis are some 74 to 78 per cent of the population and this move, if continued, would convert the majority into minority”, Amanullah Shaikh noted.

AJP leader demanded of the government to immediately remove the interior minister and chairman of NADRA.

On the other hand, NADRA chief, while talking to media, refuted the allegations and said not a single foreigner had been issued Pakistani identity card, reasoning that CNICs were issued only after the due procedure.