Pakistanis working abroad will no longer be required to sign up for a National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP), officials from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) told lawmakers in capital Islamabad on Monday.
During a briefing, NADRA informed the National Assembly’s Committee on Overseas Pakistanis that an amendment to the NADRA ordinance to remove the condition for Pakistanis working abroad, has been sent to the Interior Ministry for approval.
The fee to obtain a NICOP will also be reduced, the committee was told.
Obtaining, modifying or renewing a NICOP can cost over Rs 10,000 according to the fee structure currently imposed by NADRA. Some 9 million Pakistanis live abroad and are critical source of country’s foreign exchange reserves — last year expats remitted almost $20 billion.
During the meeting, the NA committee ordered the removal of former premier Nawaz Sharif’s pictures from all Pakistani diplomatic missions abroad.
The committee’s convener, Shagufta Jumani, had expressed displeasure at Sharif’s photo appearing on an Independence Day banner put up by Ambassador Ali Javed at the embassy in Oman.
The committee directed the foreign ministry to take appropriate steps in this regard.