[dropcap]I[/dropcap]SLAMABAD – Pakistan based citizens who reside in the country, they wished to get their CNICs delivered to their doorsteps after applying for the same via NADRA’s online CNIC portal, are in for some bad news.
The popular service has been shut down, without any explanation, for the locals residing in Pakistan. Overseas Pakistanis can still apply for their ID card online.
The online CNIC Issuance and Renewal Service debuted in Aug 2015, to critical acclaim and reception by Pakistani citizens during the time. In the spate of half an year, the service has been indefinitely suspended.
While NADRA hasn’t given any explanation detailing their reasons behind the ill-advised move, we anticipate that the Registration authority was unable to keep-up with the tremendous volume of requests, hence the move to suspend the service for the time being.
This development is expected to hurt common Pakistanis as getting an ID card via normal channels is a laborious and time-consuming prospect at best. For the 190 million citizens of Pakistan, this means waiting in long queues and for hours at best at the nearest NADRA office.
The benefits of the IT and mobile revolution in Pakistan mean nothing if their fruits do not reach the common Pakistani citizen. For a truly digital Pakistan, NADRA’s online CNIC facility represented a promise fulfilled, a sign that Pakistan was adapting to a digital future to better lives of its citizens.
The well-received service was welcomed both within and outside Pakistan. Overseas Pakistanis can still take advantage of the facility, and it is hoped that NADRA revives the service for local Pakistani citizens sooner rather than later.