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Pakistan data agency chief terms interior minister’s allegations baseless

Publication Date : 18-12-2013


The chairman of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), Mohammad Tariq Malik, has rejected as baseless the allegations levelled against him by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

Secretary Interior Shahid Khan had received a communication from Malik to clarify his position with regard to the accusations levelled by the interior minister during a press conference on Sunday.

The minister had accused the Nadra chairman of undertaking over 100 foreign visits in five years without approval of the competent authority, violating PPRA rules in procurement, possessing the nationalities of four countries and telling lies about his educational qualifications.

In a letter sent to the secretary interior, the Nadra chief denied having undertaken over 100 foreign trips during the last five years.

He said all his foreign visits as the chairman Nadra had been approved by the prime minister.

He said the number of such visits was only eight. Malik said in his capacity as the deputy chairman he had undertaken some 40 foreign visits, all of which had been authorised by the then chairman Nadra.

He explained that the visits were undertaken to promote international business of Nadra and the resultant revenue growth justified the expenditure.

“The most recent example is the award of Sri Lankan government’s ID card project (phase-1) worth US$5.6 million,” the letter stated.

About the allegation of possessing four foreign nationalities, he said he possessed a Canadian passport and a valid Pakistani official blue passport.

He also rejected the claim of drawing Rs2.1 million (US$ 19,672) salary and said his salary was as per the package approved by the federal government that was Rs842,000.

“During the last 17 months, the average salary transferred to my bank account has been Rs732,000 per month. This included all emoluments, including T/A adjustments, medical reimbursements etc.”

He also refuted the charge of violating PPRA rules in procurement of smart cards.

He said requests for proposals were invited for the supply of 20 million smart cards in March 2013. All the PPRA rules were followed and the contract was awarded to the lowest bidder - Safron Morpho (France).

He said a non-participating party had challenged the process in Islamabad High Court which was dismissed and the court held that there had been no violation or illegality in the process.

An intra-court appeal was filed by the party which was subsequently withdrawn.

“The litigation has come to an end and Nadra came out clean,” the letter added.

About the allegation of making false claims about his educational qualifications, he said he held a master’s degree in computer science from the Quaid-i-Azam University.

“This was followed by a master’s degree in international management from Germany for which an equivalence certificate was obtained from the then University Grants Commission (now HEC).”

Malik also attached with the letter the copies of his degrees and various training certificates.

He added: “I feel that I am unjustly being subjected to a media trial when the matter is sub judice.”

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