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PITB Develops Mobile Application to Aid Afghan Refugee Registration

by Nushmiya Sukhera

The Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, its occupation till 1988 and the subsequent civil wars in the country led to one of the greatest refugees crises of the 20th century. Hundreds of thousands of Afghans poured into Pakistan, and were welcomed by the Government of the time.  More than three decades later, approximately three million Afghans are still residing in the country with a vast number undocumented, unidentified, and unregistered. However, the official, registered Afghan refugees figures being pushed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is 1.4 million.

Recently, the Prime Minister of Pakistan brought up the issue of the Afghan refugees during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly session in September, highlighting the grave economic and security consequences of those Afghans living under the radar.

Domestically, the Afghan Refugees are managed by the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions. The minister, Abdul Qadir Baloch, has, on the record, commented on the difficulty of locals in various cities to find jobs as over one million Afghan refugees are working in Pakistan. Not only that, the country stays blinded to their sources of income, any possible criminal history, and religious inclinations as well.

Following the horrific 2014 terrorist attack at the Army Public School in Peshawar, the Government soon announced a comprehensive National Action Plan (NAP) to speed up the war being fought against terrorism in the country. One of the key components of the NAP is the “formulation of a comprehensive policy to deal with the issue of Afghan refugees, beginning with the registration of all refugees.”

To streamline the process, the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) has developed a mobile application for the biometric verification of refugees using the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) database. The Afghan refugees in Pakistan have been issued unique identities called Proof of Registration (PoR). Their digital fingerprints i.e. index fingers and thumbs of both hands have been matched to their PoR number through the fingerprinting matching device which is attached to a tablet via a USB cable. The application has been deployed in Gujrat, Attock, Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Mianwali and Sargodha up till now and is being used by PITB personnel assisted by the District Police Officer. In the off chance that these officials find Afghan refugees that are not registered, they are able to enter their information in the system as well as their fingerprints using the said device.

Read more: Registering Private Employees in Punjab

mobile-application-for-the-verification-of-the-afghan-refugees-image

Mobile Application for the Verification of the Afghan Refugees

The Public Information Associate at UNHCR in Pakistan, Qaisar Khan Afridi says, “by registering the Afghan refugees, they can be traced and tracked if they are involved in any criminal activities. It is important to have that record.”

Apart from formally registering them in the system, the government has given a notice for all refugees to leave the country by March 31, 2017. Till now 3,416 Afghan Refugees have been deported including 2,844 from KP, 195 from Balochistan, one in Islamabad and 376 from FATA. And now because of the mobile application, 119,162 refugees have been verified.

However, once they are repatriated from Pakistan, they are removed from the database. Hence, if they return to Pakistan, they are again illegal and undocumented.

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One Comment;

  1. Shahid Hameed said:

    Save Lahore from Afghan criminals. Major political parties should ban Afghans to enter in political parties.
    Bad law and order situation in Karachi Quetta and Peshawar is also link to Afghan criminals and Afghan criminal’s mafia now existing in Lahore.
    Political parties should ban to illegal CNICs holder Afghans to enter in political parties.
    Unfortunately some politicians of main political parties help to made illegal CNICs and vote of afghan criminals and also awarded party tickets as a candidate of local government election. All the head of political parties should take action against corrupt leader ship who awarded party tickets to Afghans.

    Afghan population in Lahore is rapidly increasing with dangerous criminals. This afghan criminal’s mafia is growing with the help of local criminals.
    In afghan population towns, in the Lahore city, extortion has been in practice, without any resistance. The victims do not lodge complains to police or other law enforcement authorities. Because the extortionist threat Pakistanis by saying “we will kill you and will escaped to Afghanistan, your law will not grip us” and Afghan criminals also beat Pakistani citizens without any reason this is very common in all afghan population towns in Pakistan the reason of beating is create the fear and terror in the area about afghan criminals.
    Last year 614 peoples killed in the province (KPK) but investigation could not make much headway as in most cases. The assailants slipped away to Afghanistan Ajab khan an official of special branch police told ips. For details http://www.atimes.com/atimes/south_asia/sou-01-050514.html

    Committing of all kind of crimes is usual matter in all afghan populated towns in Lahore. Illegal Pakistani cnics holder Afghans in Lahore and all over Pakistan are joining afghan national Army, Nato, Raw, Mossed, Khad, Rama and Taliban. Afghans residing in Lahore are freely and frequently going to Afghanistan to participate in afghan war without any travelling documents.
    The interesting thing is that they can fight against Nato or they can fight in favor of NATO, on payment.
    Similarly they can fight against Taliban or in favor of Taliban the only goal is to earn money
    In Afghanistan war has taken status of industry. War is providing jobs to peoples and crime is main source of income. Beyond 2014 this is serious threat that new wave of crimes and terror will enter in Pakistan.

    In Lahore afghan criminal mafia is well organized with the help of local criminals and some power full politicians and some black sheep’s of police.
    The main business of Afghan criminal mafia is narcotics, arm smuggling, illegal interest business, money laundering, gambling clubs, property grabbing (Kabza group) in KPK Province Afghan Mafia is running sex club, involved in timber crimes too. The new business in Afghan population towns in Pakistan is joining afghan National Army, Raw, Rama, Mossed, Khad etc, and Taliban too. The such secret agencies of enemy is using Pakistani CNICs holder Afghans for spying and terrorism in Pakistan.
    Chairman NADRA tolled senate committee of interior two Afghan captured who has been entered in Pakistan army and ISI by the help of illegall CNICs.

    Afghan population residing around g.t. road is too danger in case of war with india the such afghan population can be used against Pakistan for spying and terrorism. According to wiki Pedia 90% terrorist attacks link to Afghan refugees camps. Some terrorist attacks in Lahore also links to Afghanistan or Afghan refugees for examples Manawa police academy. Anarkali bombing, rescue 1122 etc. Army public school Peshawar attack is also link to Afghanistan and facilitated by illegal CNICs holder Afghans who were working in school canteen kitchen.
    Also terrorist arrested from Afghan population Towns area from Bund Road, Shahdarah Town Lahore and Manawa, Town Ship Lahore. Rescue 1122 attack is also links to Afghanistan. Big amount of explosive material has been recovered near Suggian Bridge Bund Road Lahore.
    In past, era of Zia ul Haq, riots between Pakistani population and Afghan population has been occurred at Bund Road Lahore. The reason of riots was crimes of Afghan criminal Mafia and violation of basic human rights of Pakistani citizens by notorious Afghan criminals.

    Illegal vote power of Afghan refugees is use to protect the crimes of Afghan criminals Mafia.
    Afghan refugees in Pakistan obtained Pakistani CNICs illegally and get Pakistani Nationality without sign the application and documents of citizen ship and nationality and oath to keep them loyal to Pakistan so these CNICss of Afghans should be cancel immediately. See Pakistan Nationality Law section 16. Clause 1,2,3

    The above reason is enough to say the government of Punjab and Government of Pakistan should take serious action according to law against illegal Afghan population in Lahore for the protection of Pakistani citizens. Arm search operation should be start in all afghan population towns in Lahore by the help of joint team of Army or Rangers with the consultation of NADRA and FIA immigration Department and local police.

    Political parties of Pakistan has been used by Afghans as a shelter tool for Afghan criminals or Afghan criminals used political flag to concealed their crimes.
    After getting illegal CNICs Afghan criminals approach political parties to enter in Pakistani political system and voters list unfortunately some power full politician help Afghans to enter their names in voters list and some politicians is very famous about the illegal the CNICs of Afghans. See Daily Dunya news Lahore dated 21 feb.2013 page # 3.
    Afghan criminals used vote power to protect the crime of afghan criminals’ Mafia. Political support is reason growing crimes in all Afghan populations in Lahore.

    Detail of afghan population towns in Lahore.
    Walton Airport area, Town ship Lahore, khan colony Gulbergh, Bund Road Khokhar Town, Mali Pura, Munshi Hospital, Malik Park, Amin Park, Bilal Gung, Shafiqabad ,Suggian Bridge, Boby Plaza, Sant Nagar, Badami Bagh, Sabzi Mandi area, Qilla Luchman Singh, Duban Pura, Shahdara , Feroz Walla, Khan Colony Shahdara, Khan Colony Gulbrgh, Pathan Colony Shahdara, khan colony near Shiekhupura and also scattered Afghan population in the following Towns of Lahore Sabza Zaar Scheme, Duban pura model Town Society, Gulbergh, Bhatti gate , Baghban Pura, Harbans Pura. Gulshan- e- Ravi. Taxali Gate. Ferozpur road. Abdullah Town Lahore.

    Detail of afghan traders in Lahore.
    Afghan businesses existing in the following markets of Lahore,
    Shah Alam Market, Azam Cloth Market, Show Market Pani Walla talab, landa bazar, Mcloed Road Bor walla chowk, data darbar, main boulevard Gulbergh, Liberty Markeet, Auriga Centre, rabbi plaza Gulbergh, Hall Road, Nolakha Bazar etc. Afghan mobil haker is in all over Lahore. Afghan traders in Pakistan running their business without legal permission of government of Pakistan and purchasing property in Pakistan without the permission. According to Pakistani media afghan traders is spying for Nato and Raw, NDS, RAMA.

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