Pakistan Has World’s Largest Biometric Citizen Database
Deputy Chairman of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) on Saturday said with registration of over 85 per-cent of the country’s adult population using both biometric and facial recognition systems Pakistan was way a ahead of the USA and India who are in a very early stage of unique systems.
In his Keynote address at the 8th Annual Smart Cards Government Conference 2009,at Washington DC, USA, the deputy chairman Tariq Malik said the Pakistan had established the world’s largest biometric citizen database, thus enabling the elected government to use identity infrastructure to roll out financial support and other programmes for the benefit of citizens.
The Deputy Chairman said that the evolution of e-government, the outreach to poorest of poor, effective information and physical security, crises management and many facets of the lives of citizens of Pakistan depend on NADRA’s ability to assert Pakistani Identity in an efficient, safe and widely accepted manner, he informed the Identity management experts.
Mr. Malik announced that NADRA was going to introduce smart card technology next year.The pilot project, targeting oversees Pakistanis, will use secure smart card in conjunction with biometrics.
The fingerprint template can be stored on the card, for quick authentication ensuring security and quick immigration at Pakistani airports.
Tariq Malik said that while Pakistan Army was fighting war on terror, Nadra had successfully implemented the civilian government’s strategy to win the hearts and minds of internally displaced persons.
As a result, the government provided immediate relief; rehabilitation and reconstruction cost of approx. Rs 10 billion using smart cards in a very transparent way to more than 329,000 families, Mr Malik said.
He said that Nadra’s achievements had been recognized by international media also ‘’Perhaps this strategy has lesson for US crises managers also, who were struggling with the aftershocks of various crises like New Orleans and Katrina storm,” deputy Chairman Nadra said.