ISLAMABAD: The National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) is almost ready to wrap up an investigation to determine who was responsible for a data leak involving the family of the current Army Chief General Syed Asim Munir.
According to The News report, an attempt was made in November to thwart the appointment of the current army chief using the material that had been obtained unlawfully.
Five senior Lt. Generals were contending to become Pakistan’s new army chief in October 2022. During this time, Farooq Ahmed, a junior data entry operator at NADRA, is accused of accessing the data of a female member of Gen Asim Munir Shah’s family and obtaining their contact information and ID card numbers.
This data was later used in the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Integrated Border Management System (IBMS) to track the international travel destinations of the family.
The prime minister had an investigation launched into the data leak.
As a result, Farooq Ahmad (Junior Executive), Rehman Butt (Deputy Director), Rasheed Ahmed (Assistant Director), Saif Ullah (Deputy Assistant Director), Sajid Sarwar (Assistant Superintendent), and M Ali (Deputy Assistant Director) were suspended, and an inquiry was ordered by Chairman NADRA Tariq Malik.
Initially, the inquiry was supervised by retired Brigadier Khalid Latif, who was later found to be a close aide of Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, one of the accused contenders. Latif was subsequently replaced by senior officer Ali Javaid due to a conflict of interest. Ali Javaid is known as a reputable officer.
During the inquiry, two NADRA officers, Khalid Anayatullah and Amir Bukhari, were identified as the key players behind the data access. Both officers allegedly named close relatives of the contenders as those requesting the data.
The ongoing inquiry is expected to soon expose the real faces within NADRA involved in this saga. However, the actual masterminds behind the officers might not face public punishment. A top NADRA official confirmed the inquiry without revealing any names, citing the sensitivity of the issue and the investigation’s ongoing nature.
It should be noted that the six junior staffers of the organization have still not been restored to their positions. Furthermore, recently, Brigadier (retd) Khalid Latif and three other military personnel were given an opportunity to resign.