A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has submitted a comprehensive report to the Interior Ministry concerning the alarming leakage of citizens’ personal data by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). Following the directives of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Interior Ministry, in collaboration with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and Military Intelligence, is set to embark on a thorough investigation into this grave matter.

The JIT’s findings reveal a staggering compromise of data belonging to 2.7 million Pakistanis between 2019 and 2023, with NADRA offices in Multan, Peshawar, and Karachi implicated in the breach. Shockingly, the compromised data was traced from Multan to Peshawar, then routed to Dubai, and reportedly sold in distant locations such as Argentina and Romania.

Several senior officers of NADRA have been implicated in the data leak, prompting the JIT to recommend decisive action against them. In response, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has directed NADRA to implement the JIT’s recommendations promptly.

To mitigate future risks and protect citizens’ privacy, proposed measures include stringent regulatory actions and technological upgrades. Immediate compliance measures have been initiated following the Prime Minister’s directives, underlining the government’s commitment to data security.

This incident underscores the critical need for transparency, accountability, and continuous monitoring of data security protocols. Cooperation between government agencies and regulatory bodies is paramount in addressing cybersecurity threats and fostering public trust.

Moving forward, efforts must focus on bolstering cybersecurity infrastructure and cultivating a culture of data protection awareness to prevent similar breaches and safeguard sensitive personal information.

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