Cancellation of the former senator’s CNIC is “plain stupid”: analysts

In a sudden move, the NADRA has cancelled the CNIC of former Senator Hafiz Hamdullah. This has raised some serious legal questions. Political experts believe this is “plain stupid” move.

CNIC

According to reports, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s (JUI-F) Hafiz Hamdullah has approached the Ministry of Interior for the restoration of his identity as a Pakistani. He reportedly informed Special Secretary Mian Waheedud Din about his CNIC’s cancellation. Political commentators think this move, cancellation of Mr. Hamdullah’s ID card, was ‘plain stupid’.

As per details, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Saturday directed all TV channels not to invite Hafiz Hamdullah on their programs, saying he was “not a Pakistani citizen”.

In a communiqué sent to all satellite TV channels, the media watchdog had said that NADRA had conveyed that “Senator Hafiz Hamdullah Saboor is a ‘confirmed alien’ as he is not a citizen of Pakistan”.

It had further said NADRA has “cancelled and digitally impounded the CNIC (computerized national identity card) issued” to Hamdullah.

People are asking if the agencies in Pakistan are at their work since someone who managed to be a provincial minister and a part of Pakistan’s parliament did not belong to this country

“Since it is established that the said person is an ‘alien’, therefore, all the TV channels (News and Current Affairs) are directed to refrain from inviting and projecting Mr Hafiz Hamdullah Saboor in their programs/talk shows, news etc.,” the authority said in its letter.

It is important to note that Hafiz Hamdullah became health minister of Balochistan in 2002 after being elected to the provincial assembly on a Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) ticket in the general election. He kept the portfolio till 2005.

In his reaction, the JUI-F leader blamed state institutions for his ‘political victimization’ and said no one in his family, including his father, had ever been accused of being an alien. He said his father was an employee of the education department in 1974 and he had already provided documents to Nadra to prove it.

Mr. Hamdullah said he had provided several documents to Nadra including his father’s chequebook issued by the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) in 1974. “I gave the municipality report related to my birth in Chaman, my father’s chequebook of the National Bank for the year 1974 as my father was an employee of the education department in 1974,” he explained, arguing, “What else should I present?”

Read more: NAB Cracking Down on JUI-F Leader in Case of Illegal Appointments in the PWD

Reactions on Social Media

The cancellation of the former senator’s CNIC has raised some serious questions. People are asking if the agencies in Pakistan are at their work since someone who managed to be a provincial minister and a part of Pakistan’s parliament did not belong to this country. Moreover, there is also the question that can a non-Pakistani appear on Pakistani TV channels and offer his analysis. What does the law say?

Some political commentators appreciated the decision and demanded the government to immediately handover Mr. Hamdullah to Afghanistan.

Academics, journalists and rights activists criticized the decision and demanded immediate revocation of the same. Dr. Ammar Ali Jan tweeted:

Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa also criticized the decision and said:

Dr. Moeed Pirzada termed the decision as “plain stupid”.

Dr. Nida Kirmani of LUMS termed the move as “dangerous precedent”.


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