Pakistan unveils new citizenship policy for foreigners living in the country

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Pakistan unveils new citizenship policy for foreigners living in the country

A policy is being made to award citizenship to foreigners who have been living in Pakistan for consecutive seven years.

Chairman NADRA, Tariq Malik, has said that a policy is under formulation to grant citizenship to foreigners who have been living in Pakistan for seven years. He gave these remarks addressing the 8th annual National Data Privacy Conference organized by Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) in Islamabad on Wednesday.

Chairman NADRA Tariq Malik further said that if any person has any interest in Pakistani citizenship, we will grant him citizenship, and the policy in this regard will come out soon.

Addressing the conference, the Chairman NADRA claimed that the data of NADRA is completely secure and to date, the data has not been hacked nor has a security breach taken place.

He added that there could be instances of data leakage, for which strict action is taken. Chairman NADRA said that a policy is being formulated to give citizens the right to check their data. He also said that citizens would be given the right to check whether a bank or FBR has checked their data in one year.

He further said that 40 million families have been asked to check their family data. Chairman NADRA said that the police and other agencies that take data from NADRA will be audited and no agency is allowed to store data from the NADRA database to their own. Mr. Malik highlighted the importance of a data protection law in Pakistan to ensure standardization of data privacy practices as an important part of the “social contract between citizens and the government”. He highlighted that sections 28 and 29 of the NADRA Act provide legal safeguards against privacy breaches and NADRA is moving towards anonymization of personal data.

Addressing the conference Minister for Human Rights, Shirin Mazari, said that the government is not taping the phones of any journalist, if it’s the case the journalists can go to the courts.