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Sunday, November 28, 2010

CNIC Marital Status, Watan Card and NADRA

Watan Card has hit me in the most unexpected way. While trying to get Form "Bay" for my child, I faced rejection from NADRA Islamabad. The reason quoted was that my wife's marital status is unmarried. This is absurd because of two reasons:
  1. My status is married in NADRA's records, and my records have the CNIC of my wife, and yet her status is unmarried. In more logical terms, X is married to Y but Y is not married to X. What an intelligent way to design a database schema at the national level!

  2. The other one is that the NADRA's Swift Registration center didn't know/ check the pre-requisites before taking my application. Now, if you have gone through the hassle of getting your application form attested by a government office, you know that this means taking time off from office for more than 2-3 days went in waste

Meeting this fate, I tried to get my wife's marital status updated in NADRA's records but I was told that my permanent address could "possibly be" in flood affected areas, and NADRA is not taking any address change requests for these regions. "Possibly be" because, firstly, though my district is in the flood affected area, my village isn't; secondly, what does getting marital status have to do with address change?

Not accepting that I had hit a brick wall, I tried to hack through NADRA's org-chart, processes and systems to find any possible way to submit my application. My findings are posted below. I did find a workaround and I'll post it some time later. As a side note, it's an extremely sad fact that nation of Pakistan is registering fake marriages just to get a Rs. 20,000/- Watan Card, and hence, the restriction from NADRA.


Hacking Through NADRA's System


Here are some interesting findings (more helpful for Karachites):

  1. NADRA's Regional Deputty Manager's name is Fahad and his office is in Awami Markaz. At NADRA's registration center, his number is available as 021-99240548 but this number is never picked up. If you are meeting some resistance by the registration center, do ask to meet this guy in Awami Markaz; there are good chances that he'd be more reasonable than the lower staff; of course, there is a limit to how reasonable a Pakistani government official can possibly be---he doesn't pick up his phone.

  2. NADRA's provincial head quarter (PHQ) for Sindh is on Amir Khusro Road; it's very close to Pagara house near Karsaz. Ask for the map in comments if you can't locate it otherwise.

  3. There is NADRA's facilitation center (NFC) which is responsible for taking complaints and resolving issues; it is located inside the PHQ. NADRA's official call center number is 051-111-786-100 but alas, that number is also not attended most of the time. So, if the call center is not accessible, it might make sense to go to NFC in person.

  4. NADRA has a published list of flood affected areas (please see the reference section below).

  5. Tariq Malik, the Deputty Chairman of NADRA, has an MS degree in Computer Science from Germany. NADRA's top management is either ex-Army or ex-CIO's of various organizations (meaning thereby that they have a background in IT). In accordance with the social norms in Pakistan, it could be very helpful to find a CIO or ex-Army Colonel or above reference if you are facing some issue with NADRA.




References:
[1] NADRA's list of flood affected areas eligible for Watan Card
[2] Eligibility Citeria for Getting a Watan Card
[3] NADRA's Top Management
[4] NADRA's Organizational Chart