Islamabad, September 28, 2016 (PPI-OT):The Chairman OPF Board of Governors, Barrister Amjad Malik called on Chairman National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), Usman Mobeen and discussed issues related to overseas Pakistanis including issues of National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) being issued to overseas Pakistanis in various countries abroad.
The Chairman OPF Board of Governors appreciated the role of NADRA in terms of providing NICOP facility to overseas Pakistanis and said that the NICOP not only gives an identity to the overseas Pakistanis but it also helps them in their frequent travels to Pakistan as a valid visa. However, he said that there are some issue which requires the attention of Chairman NADRA for early resolution.
He requested the Chairman NADRA that the NICOP should be free of cost for over sixty years of age in line with regular Pakistani identity card which is valid for life for those Pakistanis who attain the age of sixty. The charging of NICOP fee from overseas Pakistanis who are over 60 is discriminatory which is causing some unrest among them.
The Chairman BoG informed the Chairman NADRA that the fee for applying online NICOP is higher and is being charged as fast track fee. No choice is given to the applicant whether to apply for normal or fast track. He requested the Chairman to give options to online applicants. Barrister Malik also informed the Chairman that on the introduction of online application of NICOP, the mobile NADRA surgery teams (mobile registration teams) have been discontinued.
The presumption was that with the start of online processing of NICOP, the applicants can apply directly from their homes. However, it has been noted that many applicants who are not computer literate and do not have the capacity to travel to Consulates to apply for the cards are being exploited by travel agents and other mafia. These applicants are being charged extra 30 to 40 Pounds in the name of online NICOP application processing.
Many such so-called offices have mushroomed in the whole of UK seriously undermining the data protection laws and fleecing the applicants. The Chairman NADRA was requested to restart the mobile surgeries for a short period during which the local community organizations and volunteer groups who assist in hosting the mobile surgeries are fully trained to assist the local overseas Pakistanis in online submission of applications.
Barrister Malik also requested the Chairman NADRA to review the current increase in NADRA fee which has been recently increased after the devaluation of UK Pound. He further requested the Chairman to consider charging less fee from those applicants whose cards are issued with errors.
The Chairman OPF Board of Governors thanked the Chairman NADRA and said that over 08 million overseas Pakistanis have special love for Pakistan. “We should try to introduce such policies and facilities which give incentives to overseas Pakistanis to keep their contact with their mother land and visit Pakistan with their next generation frequently”, he added.
The Chairman NADRA assured the Chairman OPF, BoG that issues of overseas Pakistani will be solved on priority basis. The meeting was also attended by Director General, OPF (Welfare and Services Division) Sajid Mehmood Qazi, Director General Operations, (NADRA), Brigadier ® Nisar Ahmed and Director Operations (NADRA) Mr. Kashif Mehmood.
For more information, contact:
Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF)
Shahrah-e-Jamhouriat, Sector G-5/2,
Post Box No. 1470, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-9203267, 9048320
Fax: +92-51-9224335, 9211613