Sir: The president of any country, being the first citizen, his or her spouse is called the First Lady. Pakistan’s Warrants of Precedence confirms it. However, in extended use, any lady that is excellent in any profession may be respectfully called a first lady. Indian media quotes only Savita Kovind, wife of Indian president (Ram Nath Kovind), as the First Lady of India since July 25 2017. She succeeds Suvra Mukherjee, First Lady until her death on August 18, 2015.We use self-assumed titles or retired military ranks in everyday life and in courts and media to earn Very-Important Person treatment. Usual titles for those who could not serve military ranks are al-haaj/haji, chaudhri, sardar, ad infinitum. In July 2015, a court in Islamabad was irked when `Lt Col (retd)’ Khalilur Rehman of Bahria Town introduced himself as `lieutenant colonel’.The court questioned if perhaps his mother had given him this name when he was born. The court probably had Kargil hero Captain Sher Mohammad in mind, whose mother had named him ‘karnal’ at birth. Take a cursory look at the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA)’s records and you will see them full of names with such titles.Self-assumed titles falsify identities and have vitiated NADRA’s database. The authorities should accept birth-record names only as valid identities. Some municipal birth records in rural areas use castes (meerasi, mocha, machhi, and so on). The practice should be abolished altogether (as is the case in Turkey). A corrective legislation is overdue.MA JAAVEDIslamabadPublished in Daily Times, September 9th 2018.