ISLAMABAD - Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator A Rehman Malik has said that non-issuance of computerized national identity cards (CNICS) to Bengalese living in Pakistan for decades needed to be addressed with consensus of all stakeholders.

In response to a report submitted by Ministry of Interior, Senator Malik said that non-issuance of CNICs to Bengalese had been a continuous source of inconvenience for Bengalese and other communities who had been living in Pakistan before 1970. “This is because National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) is denying issuance of CNICs to them,” he said.

He said that the matter needed to be solved on urgent basis and one-time indemnity should be given to all of them who are already registered with the government of Pakistan as ex-Pakistanis and Mohajir.

He said that the government might reconsider the clauses of Pakistan Citizenship Act, 1951 aiming to give a relief to already registered Bengalese and others settled in Sindh before 1970. “This important issue of citizenship to Bengalese and other ex- Pakistanis will be taken up in the next meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Interior to bring a solution to it,” he said.

It must be mentioned here that the matter of non- issuance of CNIC to Bengalese was referred to the committee by Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani for further consideration. He had asked the committee to report back to the house.

The PPP senator said that a detailed report on the matter would be presented to the chairman Senate after the next meeting of the committee. He said that mayor Karachi, home secretary Sindh and all other stakeholders would also be invited to that meeting to solve this longstanding issue with consensus.