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Citizens debate SHC’s order to issue CNIC to child of single mother

The Sindh High Court building in Karachi. Image: File

ISLAMABAD: A debate has sparked online following, the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) order on Friday, directing the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to issue an Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) to a women who does not know of the whereabouts of her father.

According to the order, Rubina, a differently-abled women, should be granted a CNIC as she was raised solely by her mother after her father left years ago and does not know of her father’s life status and where he can be found, if alive.

Misinterpretation of this SHC order has caused a massive uproar on social media regarding the role of single mothers in Pakistani society and how they may obtain CNICs, with the majority of social media users criticising the order.

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Earlier, Rubina’s lawyer advocate Usman Farooq had filed a plea at the SHC stating that the plaintiff’s father left her mother years ago and she was brought up by her mother. Farooq maintained that Rubina does not know about her father’s life-status and location, and therefore NADRA would not issue her a CNIC, and continued to ask her to submit her paternal records, or produce another guardian. Rubina also attached a photocopy of her father’s CNIC to her petition. As a result, the SHC directed NADRA to issue a CNIC to Rubina on the basis of her mother’s citizenship record.

Farooq, while speaking to Bol News, stated that the court order was clear and required that the record of both parents should be provided in order to obtain a CNIC from NADRA but it was misinterpreted. He added that this SHC decision has triggered a debate on social media, where most people are misinterpreting the court decision and criticising the outcome. “I received a lot of calls every day from people who are asking about this court decision,” stated the lawyer.

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He further stated that it is very difficult for orphans to obtain a CNIC from NADRA since every person needs to provide CNICs of both their parents, while adding that earlier the Edhi Foundation had approached the Supreme Court of Pakistan to consider that orphan homes be named as the legal guardians of such children.

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