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‘Four million Afghans living in Pakistan illegally’

ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary committee on Monday was surprised after a senator from Balochistan claimed that around four millions Afghan nationals were living in various parts of the country illegally.

The Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control met at the Parliament Lodges under the chairmanship of Senator Rehman Malik.

During the meeting, Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini of the Balochistan National Party (Mengal) claimed that apart from refugees there were around four million illegal Afghans living in various parts of the country.

“These four million Afghans have become a part of our system.”

He said there were also reports that some lawmakers might have unintentionally attested documents of the Afghan nationals for acquiring the Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs). He said he also had some forms signed by lawmakers.

“It’s a serious matter,” said the committee chairman, adding if action could be taken against government officials for wrong attestation why not against the lawmakers who had allegedly attested fake documents.

The committee chairman directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to look into the mater.

Senator Javed Abbasi said the working of Nadra had improved drastically. “In the past even people like Mullah Mansoor obtained Pakistani passport and the CNIC,” he said.

Representatives of Nadra informed the committee that they had blocked 375,000 CNICs. However, the committee directed them to ensure that the CNICs of Pakistani citizens were not blocked and those which had already been blocked should be unblocked swiftly.

The committee also expressed displeasure over the closure of some Nadra outlets which added to the hardship of the citizens, particularly those whose cards had been blocked.

Discussing the disappearance of a retired army officer from Nepal where he had gone for a job interview, the committee chairman directed the FIA to investigate the matter.

“The FIA should check who offered a job to retired Lt Col Mohammad Habib and who was in his contact,” he said.

It is feared that the retired army officer has been abducted by the Indian spy agency, RAW.

The FIA was directed to submit a report to the committee on the matter in the next meeting.

The committee also discussed the recent killing of 20 people by a so-called faith healer in Sargodha.

Condemning the incident, the committee chairman said there was no legislation in the country to deal with fake spiritual leaders who were not only defaming the name of Sufism but also victimising innocent people.

He said the committee would propose legislation so that such criminal elements could be countered and their malicious activities monitored and stopped.

Senator Malik also discussed the abduction of Nawab Ali Leghari and directed the SSP Islamabad to furnish a report to the committee.

The meeting was attended by Senators Shahi Syed, retired Col Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Chaudhary Tanvir Khan, Mohammad Ali Khan Saif and others.

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2017

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