Making progress on the front of digitising Pakistan, and e-governance in particular, Nadra has launched online CNIC registration, renewal and verification services. One SMS is all it takes now, compared to the tedious process of the past. This IT based solution, if efficiently run, could define future citizen registration processes and pave the way for an IT based solution to most similar services. It is vital that the government builds upon this progress.
According to officials, by sending a text to Nadra, citizens will be able to verify their personal information along with their family members which they will have to confirm through sending another text. This is a smart and effective tool to verify the status of the masses and weed out those who possess counterfeit ID cards and are living on Pakistani soil illegally. Thus, it is not just that we are making the process more convenient but we are using it to enforce laws and bring about accountability for violations.
Furthermore, in the midst of a pandemic that is here to stay for the next few years at least, this no-interaction method was the responsible step to take. On average, hundreds of people line inside and outside of government offices every single day for one reason or the other. With Covid-19, overcrowding and close proximity contact is not acceptable and the digitisation of simple processes like CNIC registration is a competent way to eliminate risks.
For the future, the government has promised the use of AI technology as well to further smoothen out official processes. This is a development that is worth looking forward to. Now, the focus of the government should just be to ensure that operations run smoothly and that the people utilise this avenue rather than sticking to their old ways.