On May 25 and 26, a van from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) visited St. Monica’s Catholic Church in Karachi, where 190 Christians, most of them Catholics, applied for national identity cards.
Parish priest Father Thomas Gulfam said that “applying for an identity card is difficult for daily-wage workers, so we thought of using a church venue to help them.”
He said the initiative would benefit Christians in many ways, including making it easier for them to cast their votes, open bank accounts, meet government officials, and apply for jobs and licenses.
Shabbir Iftikhar, a Christian tailor, said he realized the importance of having an identity card when police interrogated him as he was returning from his shop late one night. “I didn’t have any documents to prove my identity and thus had to answer many questions,” he said.