Dubai: A former Indian citizen who changed her name, religion and nationality to marry a Pakistani man some 23 years ago, is now facing ‘identity crisis’ as she is facing problems in renewing her Pakistani national identity card.
Sharjah-based Kajal Rasheed Khan applied to renew her Pakistani Identity Card more than three months ago on July 31. She is still waiting for her new card as authorities in Pakistan say that her documents are now "being verified".
Normally, it takes only seven to 10 days to get an ID card renewed.
“I have been exchanging emails with NADRA [National Database and Registration Authority] for the last three months and have already providing them all the ‘extra’ documents they asked me to submit, but there has been no progress,” Kajal’s husband Mohammad Rasheed Khan, a Pakistani, told Gulf News.
He said he tried everything and that no one was listening to him.
The last email which he got from the NADRA on November 4 reads: “ Dear complainant, your provided documents/information sent for further verification. You are requested to keep patient till clearance of your record. Your patience and cooperation will be highly appreciated in this regards. Thank you.”
But Rasheed is running out of patience because his wife’s bank accounts are now frozen in Karachi, Pakistan.
“My wife owns property in Karachi and she also gets rental income. Now she cannot withdraw money or operate her account because she does not have new smart ID card which is now [a] mandatory requirement by the bank,” said Rasheed.
Kajal, whose existing Pakistani ID card is valid until 2023, had to apply for the new smart ID card to fulfil the legal requirement.
“I fail to understand why my wife’s application is on hold as it is just a renewal of the ID card. She already holds valid Pakistani passport and Pakistani citizenship certificate,” said Rasheed.
She also has a letter issued from the Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai confirming that she had surrendered her Indian passport and was issued with a Pakistani passport in 2001.
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.
Rasheed requested the authorities concerned to help him solve this issue or he will have to appeal in the court. He said that he tried the helpline numbers provided and email addresses but in vain.
An architect by profession, 60-year-old Rasheed had come to the UAE from Karachi about 30 years ago in 1989 and opened a supermarket at Al Rigga Road in Dubai.
He married Kalpana, a Hindu girl, in 1996 in Mumbai - she then changed her name to Kajal and converted to Islam. Rasheed has relatives in India as well.
Rasheed has relatives in India as well. He has four wives including two each from India and Pakistan and 10 children. One of his Indian wives lives in India with two daughters. His first Pakistani wife has two sons and a daughter while the second Pakistani wife has two daughters and a son.
Rasheed and Kajal have two children including a son and a daughter.