Why should a government officer testify our documents?Posted: December 30, 2014
Today I took my 82 year old mother to get her Computerized National ID Card (CNIC) renewed. The previous ID card had expired and was technically invalid. The last one had been issued a decade ago. I believe ID cards being issued to those above 70 years of age need not be renewed. Unfortunately that rule was made before she got her last ID card. Outside the NADRA office in F8, there were long queues to get tokens for the ‘normal’ and ‘fast track channels.’ Inside a lot of people were waiting in different states of resignation, to be photographed, fingerprinted and for having their personal data entered. The staff was as polite as one can possibly be, while handling so many people, waiting for their turns. Among the waiting crowd there people of all ages – ranging from infants in their mother’s laps to octogenarians like my mother. I spied one bent old woman, who appeared to be in her nineties. Her attendant assured her that this time her card would be ‘ta hayat’ (lifelong). At long last my mother’s token number was called and we started with the photograph. There was some problem as the bio metrics machine found it difficult to read my mother’s fingerprints. As we waited for the data entry, the power went out. The generator kicked in but twenty minutes later it ran out of fuel. There was nothing to do but wait. 40 minutes later the power restored and business slowly resumed. At long last the data about my mother was rechecked and a printout issued. As I triumphantly got hold of the precious paper I was informed that I had to get the form attested by a government officer and deposit it again in the office and then wait for the card to be made – 7 days for fast track and 30 days standard time.
Why on earth would a government officer need to verify data about a woman, who had already been registered with NADRA? Why is there any need for any government officer to attest anything? Mr Modi, the Indian prime minister has already done away with this archaic and antiquated requirement. There is nothing revolutionary in taking such a minor step. I strongly feel that having a CNIC renewed should be done online. It can save NADRA, the government officers and most of all the common man a lot of bother.