ISLAMABAD: A misleading video has circulated on the internet, falsely depicting officials from the government-operated National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) allegedly providing Pakistani national identity cards to undocumented immigrants.
The video suggests an attempt to manipulate electoral rolls in anticipation of the upcoming general election.
A brief one-minute video depicts a Nadra-affiliated van parked within a warehouse. The footage suggests individuals secretly undergoing identity card processing inside the vehicle.
The person capturing the video can be heard stating, “Who knows what these people are up to?” and then proceeds to open the van door, questioning the officials about the reason for their presence.
A Nadra official exits the vehicle and explains that a local parliamentarian instructed the visit to the area. The video, accompanied by a caption stating that Pakistan initiated an operation against illegal immigrants with a deadline for their departure by October 31, was shared on the platform X, formerly known as Twitter, on November 2.
However, on the same night of October 31, the user expressed concern that a Nadra van in Karachi was allegedly registering illegal immigrants and providing them with Pakistani ID cards.
The user asserted that corruption and external adversaries were exploiting the country. The user claimed that the state’s authority was diminishing, with voter lists allegedly being compiled using fraudulent documents. The post garnered 18,000 views, 365 reposts, and 381 likes on X at the time of writing.
پاکستان میں غیر ملکیوں کے خلاف آپریشن ہےاور 31اکتوبر 2023ڈیڈ لائن دی گئی تھی اور اسی رات کراچی میں کسی گودام میں نادرا موبائل وین غیر ملکیوں کو رجسٹرڈ کرکے پاکستانی قومیت کا CNICبنانے کا کاروبار جاری رکھے ہوئی ہے یہ ملک کر پٹوں اور ملک دشمنوں کے ہاتھ میں بے دردی سے استعمال ہورہا… pic.twitter.com/8Lejc6iaB7
— Syed Abdul Rasheed (@SyedARasheedJIP) November 2, 2023
Another account on X, sharing the same video, claimed, “In the obscurity of the night, Nadra’s official van is stationed in a warehouse where CNICs for Afghan refugees are being produced.” The account noted the apparent contradiction between the government’s efforts to remove Afghan refugees and the alleged mockery of the country’s integrity.
In the darkness of the night, Nadra's official van is parked in a warehouse where Afghan refugees' CNICs are being made. On one side, the government is determined to remove them, and on the other, they're being ridiculed in a way that mocks the country.#DeportAfghanRefugees pic.twitter.com/31xcJUAlqZ
— E R F A N (@OfficialAlmani) November 2, 2023
Nadra and a parliamentarian in Karachi, whose constituency is where the video was filmed, verified that the vehicle was sent on July 20, not October 31. The van was sent to Karachi’s Baldia Town to assist residents in obtaining their ID cards, as there is no Nadra office in the area.
According to a press release issued by Nadra, mobile registration vans (MRV) are deployed routinely by the authority “to provide crucial services to citizens in remote regions,” often when political figures or local communities request the service.
“The video in question is approximately four months old,” the statement said, “[It] captured an MRV parked in a building near Khyber Chowk in the Baldia Town area of Karachi, dated July 20, 2023.”
The press release explained that the van had to take shelter in a nearby building owing to bad weather.
The statement noted, “While the MRV was operational, local police officers on patrol approached the Nadra personnel to inquire about the purpose of their activity. Following a satisfactory response from the Nadra staff, the police personnel left without further engagement.”
Qadir Khan Mandokhail, a former member of the national assembly from Karachi, also confirmed that he had requested a Nadra vehicle to be deployed in this constituency earlier this year.
He confirmed that when the video started going viral on social media, he called the warehouse owner and asked for details of the incident.
The warehouse owner affirmed to the politician that, on July 20, the Nadra van had to be moved indoors due to heavy rain, allowing the registration process to continue. Mandokhail clarified that the Mobile Registration Van (MRV) was active in his constituency for over eight months, not just a single day.
The former Member of the National Assembly (MNA) also shared a video message on his X account featuring the Nadra official seen exiting the van in the viral video.
In the video message, the official confirmed that the online footage was old and was recorded in Karachi’s Ittehad Town. The purpose was to assist citizens in obtaining their identity cards after Mandokhail’s appeal. The official mentioned that the van had to be parked inside that day due to heavy rainfall and to ensure the comfort of women seeking to get their ID cards issued.
— Qadir Khan Mandokhail (@MNAmandokhail) November 3, 2023