KARACHI: Noor Bai, 60, has been visiting the regional office of NADRA in Lyari for the last three weeks to get her national identification card renewed. Every day, she reaches the NADRA office early in the morning to join hundreds of women already queued up outside. She stands in the queue for four to five hours under the scorching sun in line with hundreds of other women but is still not able to enter the office as the NADRA officials sitting in their air conditioned rooms close the counters at 1 pm. “This is the third consecutive week, I have been visiting (NADRA office) in the hope of getting my ID card renewed. But I haven’t been able to make it”, a weak and weather-beaten Noor Bai told the Daily Times. Her problem could have been resolved if she had paid Rs 1000 to one of the scores of agents outside the office to avoid the long queues. “These queues are meant for the poor only. If I had had the money to pay an agent, I would have been through”, an apparently frustrated Noor said while wiping sweat from her face with a handkerchief.“ “They (NADRA officials) don’t care if people like us stand in the queues for several hours in this sizzling weather. They deliberately work lazily with a view to forcing people to pay to the agents. They simply close the door at 1 pm sharp and ask us to get out for another day”, she charged. Khadija Begum, another angry woman said: “Look at him”, she pointed to a middle-aged man wearing a yellow cap — presumed to be one of the several agents roaming around the NAARA office and coaxing the desperate citizens. “He asked me last week to pay Rs 1000 and he would take me to the counter directly”, she alleged. The database registration authority is unofficially toeing a policy of “delay and block” vis-a-vis issuance or renewal of the ID cards. A visit to the NADRA offices in New Karachi, Ranhcor Line, Orangi town, Shah Faisal, Kemari, Lyari and others revealed that the NADRA authority officials are either simply refusing to register or order undue inquiries on the record of citizens, especially those who migrated or their parents migrated from India and Bangladesh in 1947 and 1971 respectively. The worst part of the story is that NADRA is not sparing even those who have already been issued ID cards by the authority in the recent past. Wali Muhammad, a resident of New Karachi is one of thousands of those victims. He has been issued ID cards by NADRA twice in the last 15 years but still an inquiry to prove his citizenship has been pending for over six months on his application for renewal of his ID card. “I got my first passport almost 50 years ago, went to school in the 60s. what other proof of my nationality do they want? I have been running from pillar to post to get my ID card renewed but to no avail”, he said and added, “ I understand if NADRA does that.with those who are getting their ID cards for the first time, but it is doing this with those who have been issued the cards twice in the past. This is totally.incomprehensible”. “The cards of my sons , daughters and their children have also been blocked , making it impossible for them to go on with the daily routine where the presentation of the NIC is essential . On. the other hand; he charged, non-Pakistanis are easily getting national ID cards against mere amounts of Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000. Siraj. Yusuf, another New Karachi resident has a similar story to share. He had also been issued the national ID card by Nadra for 10 years in 2005 but is now dilly-dallying over its renewal. “They (NADRA) have no idea how much the absence of national ID card costs us. We cannot operate or open bank accounts, our children cannot. get admission to educational institutions or travel abroad,and so on”, he said. “I have an allotment order issued by the Federal government given to my father in 1967 which bears my name on it. What else do I require to prove my citizenship?” he asked. “We are being treated as second class citizens and the NADRA officials are just delaying our legitimate cases , because they want us to approach the agents outside and grease their palms”, he said. The operation Manager NADRA, Tanvir Abbas, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. However, a NADRA official wishing not to be named admitted that the long queues and mismanagement are a direct result of shortage of staff and centres. He said that a large number of people, mostly Biharis and Bengalis, had trickled into Pakistan after 1971, which created identification card related issues, which are being rectified through NADRA’s upgraded system.