Kajal and Rasheed Khan
Kajal with her husband Rasheed Khan showing her new Pakistani identity card at their house in Sharjah. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A Sharjah-based woman who had surrendered her Indian citizenship after marrying a Pakistani man, has thanked the Pakistan government for issuing her ‘smart identity card’.

Kajal Rasheed Khan was facing ‘identity crisis’ for the last five months as her identity card was frozen by Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). Consequently, her bank accounts in Pakistan were also blocked. She was suffering financially as she could not operate her accounts and do any transactions. She also owns properties in Karachi but could not receive her rental income.

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Gulf News impact

She had applied for the renewal of her card on July 31 but it was not renewed until Gulf News published her story to highlight her plight in November. Her ID card was renewed for ten years from November 25, 2019 to November 25, 2029.

Kajal and her husband Rasheed Khan also thanked Gulf News for bringing the matter to the notice of higher authorities in Pakistan to help them solve their issue.

Frozen accounts

“I am very happy to receive my new smart card called ‘National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP). I want to thank Gulf News and the officials at the authorities concerned in Pakistan for solving my issue,” Kajal said.

She said that she would soon go to Pakistan to ‘unblock’ her bank accounts as she needed it for her property transactions in Pakistan.

Background check

Rasheed Khan said that an official from NADRA called him to discuss the issue only after the news was published in Gulf News. They told him that it was normal to take a few months to do the ‘background’ check on former Indian citizens. However, he said they ensured that Kajal’s ID card was issued on priority basis.

Kajal is also taxpayer in Pakistan and her name is registered with the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR). Her two children also have Pakistani ID cards and passports.

An architect by profession, 60-year-old Rasheed had come to the UAE from Karachi about 30 years ago in 1989. He married Kalpana, a Hindu girl, in 1996 in Mumbai — she then changed her name to Kajal and converted to Islam.