Around 1.4 million legal Afghan refugees begin receiving new smartcards

(picture-alliance/Anadolu Agency/S. Ahmad)

The National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) will give new biometric identification smartcards to around 1.4 million Afghan refugees legally registered in Pakistan.


On Tuesday, NADRA started distributing the new smartcards and the process would be finished by the end of the year. The new cards would be valid and effective till 2023.

The new PoR (Proof of Registration) cards are lawfully acknowledged verification of identification and incorporate enhanced security features.

This enterprise is part of the UNHCR-supported and government-led DRIVE (Documentation Renewal & Information Verification Exercise).

Via the exercise, data about 1.4 million legally registered Afghan refugees in the South Asian country would be verified.

Cute Afghan refugee children stand outside a school in Islamabad, Pakistan. (UNHCR/Roger Arnold)

The legal refugees would be provided new PoR smartcards based on the same technology as a Pakistani citizen’s Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC).

After proceeding through DRIVE attestation interviews, the refugees would be notified via SMS when and from where they could receive their new cards.

“The DRIVE operation is a collective endeavor between the UNHCR and the Ministry of States & Frontier Regions (SAFRON), with the technological support of NADRA,” expressed Saleem Khan, the Chief Commissioner for Afghan refugees in Pakistan.


Noriko Yoshida, the UNHCR representative in Pakis­tan, applauded the authorities’ efforts for taking this major step forward.

Yoshida saw this step as a vital opportunity to extend the protection of refugees and thoroughly understand current needs in the refugee community.

“DRIVE will give updated data on certified Afghan refugees and their family members in Pakistan. This will enable us to more reliable plan and present our assistance to the government of Pakistan and refugees, along with the communities hosting them,” Yoshida said.

DRIVE is also part of a broader purpose to assist uprooted Afghans via the Support Platform for the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR).

The exercise will help gather information on the institutional and professional qualifications of refugees.

This data will improve assistance for those who may in the future return willingly and voluntarily to Afghanistan.

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments below.

  • Why are we issuing the cards to these Namak harams ?? These MF abuse our country and our people and Govt is issuing them cards, for what ??

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