NADRA ID Card Woes

The National Database and Registration Authority, setup to modernize the issuance and tracking of national ID cards, must be the biggest failed project in the history of Pakistan. Its aim was to replace the flimsy and poorly maintained older cards with newer, digitized ones by December 2003. Yet more than half of the country’s 150 million population is still stuck with the old, obsoleted ones.

Due to various reasons, I didn’t apply for mine until about 2 months ago, but still haven’t managed to get it. This after paying extra for urgent processing. It clearly states on their website that regular applicants will receive theirs by regular mail while urgent applications will allow the cards to be delivered by courier service and within two weeks.

After over a month without any news, I called their hotline number and was told that my card had been delivered to the center where I applied. I wasn’t impressed, but decided to go and collect it myself.

Upon reaching the center, I was told that they were breaking for Friday prayers and that I should come back in the afternoon to collect my card. This despite the fact that a large sign clearly said that the prayer break starts at 1:15pm, when it was only 12:30pm. Trying to point this out didn’t help either so I came back after 3:00pm.

The final straw was when they told me they had already shipped the card to yet another location, one with a funny, hard to remember name. Off course, they couldn’t just ship it to my home or office address or let me know the final location when I first applied. I have now decided to stop the wild goose chase and try to find someone who I can complain to. Anyone want to help?

16 thoughts on “NADRA ID Card Woes

  1. Biggest failed project? you must have been out of pakistan…

    it took me more than 2 years and FIVE applications to get my nadra card, but even then there are many other bigger failed institutions around.

  2. Being a techie yourself, if you ever hear the details of the nadra computer system (it hardly deserves that name) and the amount they spent on it – well suffice to say it’s hard to understand how they could have messed it up so badly.

  3. It sounds similar to my dealings with Mizuho Bank in Tokyo. I set up my original account several years ago out in the Kasai area while it was still called Fuji Bank. Recently, I thought that I had misplaced my ATM card and had to apply to get a new one. I applied at a location that was more convenient to me. They told me to pick up the card a week later. A week later, I went back to the same place that I applied, and they told me I had to go all the way to the original place that I had opened my account. I suppose I would have been somewhat okay if they had told me this in the first place, but instead, I had to go and visit two different branches of the same bank, one clear across town. I have a hard time understanding why I can’t simply go to any Mizuho bank in Tokyo and have access to all my records, rather than having to physically go to the original bank. To make matters worse, (at least when I asked), Mizuho doesn’t normally allow you to transfer your account to a new branch. I recently had to open up a separate account, and they even asked me questions like — What do you plan to do with your account? Why do you want to open an account? How long will you be staying in Japan? To the first question, I told them “to save money, and to withdraw money”.

  4. I borned in Pakistan in 1980s. I had my old NIC card. Then this new NADRA system came out and i applied for it. but after 7 years of my card. i lost my card and i went to NADRA office and i asked them that i lost my card. I was surprised that my card was blocked in SI(System independent) . database was not showing my family number and so. It happened even NADRA office dont collect applications without Form B in which all info abt one’s family is being written. well, i am loosing my time of studies becoz i am unable to go for higher studies in UK without showing my ID card to visa application collection office.
    I went to NADRA office and same Friday’s prayer …..
    well, i asked Administrater to help me , he said that he is trying to upload my application since 8 days and he is unable to do so. I was surprised that NADRA office was using simple ISP 56kbps connection through telefone line to upload 3 gb data (different batch files) . and each batch file contains 25MB data etc etc.
    So i think that NADRA office is really unreliable and error prone. as well as i request British high commission to remove the requirment of this failed system’s card from their application requirment (specially in Fedex office). I am really tired of this system

  5. NAdra card is just another hassel … i got a visa i dont have time for this BULL****..
    pak goverment is Tooo SLow …sorry to say that BUT iTS TRUE .

  6. I have to agree with the comments above, but you have to give the Pakistanis some credit for actually trying. I have to say that my family’s application ( 8 seperate cards) went through quite smoothly. They only managed to loose 1 card, which given that its Pakistani systems we are dealing with, is extremley good. I do agree that sometimes i do think simply simply paying for a visa a easier, but have you actually tried to obtain a visa. Some of the staff at the local office seem to have brought the same practices from Pakistan, ie, warm my hands and i’ll make sure yours is done first. or if you’re a family member, you’ll get it the same afternoon , during friday prayers…
    And what about atesting the photod, could someone please tell me that if the British government will allow anyone with a collection of letters after their name and a respectable proffesion to atest photos, then why does the government of Pakistan only allow MPs to atest their forms. Do they realise how hard it is to get a local MP to say they have known me, even when i promise to vote for them in the next ellection!!!
    I wish i have never visited Pakistan, that way i wouldn’t known what i was missing. But i absolutely LOVE that country but hate the F*****G CORRUPT system and the Bureaucrats who simply want to line their own pockets. Sorry for the rant, but i feel much better now. Hopefully I’ll be visiting the mother country as soon as my new son gets his NADRA card. ( Pray for me). or then again i think i may just aswell send a blank signed cheque with it to speed things up a bit..

  7. Indeed NADRA is one of the most succesful project in the modern history of Pakistan. We do admit that there are problems regarding the ease of procedure but comparingly NADRA has made the procedure easier then other governmental organizations.

    As far I have experienced the public at our various centres through the past five years, I reached at the result that the staff is always right. They are doing what they can do at their best. It is the peculiar psychology of our Pakistani brothers that creates problems. Our brothers have “ever-complaining-mind” which creates problems.

    (1) Let me tell SI system. When we force the applicants (which usually come alongwith “only” there old nic without parents cards) to go back to home and bring there parents NICs they got angry and start saying “Is this not enough? You just creates problems for us? will I go back to home? Why this old NIC was given to me? Why u require my parents NIC? am I lying? Is this not geniune card?” Then whatever reasons our official at desk may give to them they do not satisfy and continue debating over the issue. We dont have too much time for each applicant to argue with them over minutes so we allow them to process and clearly in this case if the family record is not provided the automatic system of NADRA block such users in SI-Blockage. [One more experience with the public is that when they are asked for fathe or mother NIC they promptly answers “they are dead” even though we have seen some of the same fathers contacting our office for their own cnics after some days] Tell me truely how can we handle this situation?

    (2) To each applicant we provide a form over which all of their bio-data is written including their father name/mother name and whatever record they are inquired about in the office. This form is given for attestation and for revision. But only 1 out of 200 applicants bothers to read the contents of it. And when there happens in result some mistake, they blame our system for this mistake. Neither the Nazim/Councillor/Gazetted officer bother to read what is written nor the applicant itself. They are just in great hurry to anyhow submit their forms without properly revising their own data.

    (3) There is a class of applicants which usually contact our office at closing time. For example it is readily complaint that at 12:30 they close the office for Juma Prayer. They dont think that why half hour earlier the office counter is closed for more public dealing?. The truth is that about 12-15 minutes are require for each applicant to process at variuos wokrstations in NADRA swift centres. When at 12:30 the office counter is closed that does’nt means all the office staff has locked the doors and went for prayer. They are at the desks processing those applicants which have already issued tokens till 12:30. To finish these applicants usually 1 hour is required. Thats why we close the counters in such situations half hour prior to the described timings.

    (4) Most of the applicants reach at the office at 5 PM and say that your timings is at 5 ‘Oclock. When we say them to come the next day they readily answer “I have taken leave from my work, should i take another leave?” Tell me, is this the time for taking leave i.e. 5 Oclock? Where were you all the day?

    (5) The biggest problem for our Pakistani brothers is their intrinsic inability to stand calmly in the line. They will always open their mouth for non-stop scondling of our official at the desk which is miserably fighting at one hand with the network system at other hand with the lined-up applicants. Every Pakistani expects that he should be processed without the hazzle of standing in the line which is simply impossible. one of the applicant once told me “tum nay ajeeb mazak khara kia hova hay, Ghoroon (horses) or gadhon (donkeys) ko ek hi line may khara kar dete ho!” [“your system is strange, u stand horse and the donkey in the same line”] I answered him “Kia aap yeh kehna chah rahe hain ke aap ghoray hain or ye baqee saree awam gadhay hain?” We dont have separate line for horse and donkey thats our problem bcoz our philosophy is “Every applicant is VIP”

    (6) Public dealing in Pakistan and specially in large cities like Karachi is a hard and difficult task. If we place a “sharif-un-nafs” type man on public dealing counter he appologize his inability to handle the type of public that every day arrive at the office counters. Therefore a powerful type of person is always needed to deal with the general public who not only understands the person and his type but also handle the situations in which one threatens him for possible action. I myself have faced the gun-point in Karachi at some areas. There are specific youngs who are associated with political groups or with local gangs. Dealing with such people is really a task requiring very powerful nerves especially when you are working in their very area of control.

    (7) For some reasons we cannot ignore the checking of documents that are provided by most of the applicants properly. There are many applicants trying to prove their cleverness before us making minute changes and bringing about bogus records. Believe me, such applicants are not in minority, they are in majority. Thats why checking the documents as well as the applicant is made proper and stricter at our offices at some times. An eye of doubt is very necessary to be cast on each applicant because we have registered not a few but many cases which were afterwards proved frauds.

    My dear brothers, I dont want to say that you are among those people which I have described above. You are very respectable citizens of our country. My purpose of all this was to make you aware of our own difficulties.

  8. I applied for NICOP card and after much frustration got the card but had my mother’s birth date on it. I went to Pakistan for a visit and asked them to make a correction. They told me it has to be done all over again. With new processing fee and all. I did that and before I was to return to the US I went there to find out that it could not be done. I am back in the US and now the embassy never answers the phone…the line for the Nadra help desk. Finally, I got to talk to someone live there and he told me I will have to file this application for the 3rd time with new application each time and hope and pray that they will make a correct NICOP card. Without any typo errors. God help Pakistan and the Pakistani who work at our embassies in the US.

  9. i live in Papua New Guinea.and my passport going to expire after six here don’t have the embassy of i call Australia in Pakistani embassy for renew my passport.the embasseder there told me to call Jakarta Indonesia to help you out to renew your Passpor.i call Indonesia in Embassy they advise me to have the camputer NIC From the NADRA before you apply for to renew the passport.they ask me to send the draft to have NADRA reqirments documents.i send the draft and they send me the documents i fill and send it back.i pay every thing what there reqirments but i tied to call and never get my NIC and now i having the problem with immigration with expir passport may be get deprted back any time.i don’t know what i do.just want to tell why we peopls doing this with over own peopls.

  10. Well, NADRA official stated above about SI. He is right but when this new NADRA system was introduced i was very happy becoz i am IT System Analyst and i saw some light of success of my country. I applied for new card very happily , i remember that i supplied all documents FORM B, Father’s NIC with Application form, i remember that they were not accepting any form which had missing documents, but i was still blocked in SI.
    I was in great trouble becoz of failed NADRA System.I tried to open an account in bank and they asked me to verify from NADRA KIOSIK. If this System is online system then why this verification is asked from citizen. I am in Dubai, my Dubai visa was generated online, i never showed my origional visa to any Dubai immigration officer, they just see photo copy and verify on their computer in few seconds instead of asking me to verify from embassy etc etc.
    KIOSIK is online but each transaction is charged for 50PKR. why?

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