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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday kicked off the “Global Launch of the Automation of the Power of Attorney (PoA)” as a platform providing overseas Pakistanis an efficient digital solution for availing power of attorney service without physical appearance at respective embassies and consulates.

The launching ceremony was held at the Foreign Office which was also attended by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Syed Hussain Tariq, Foreign Secretary Dr Asad Majeed Khan, and NADRA Chairman Dr Tariq Malik.

In his address, the foreign minister described the launch as the realisation of a major initiative to facilitate overseas Pakistanis. He also congratulated all those who worked hard to help make the project a reality.

He said that the automation for attestation/ legalisation of power of attorney had been a longstanding demand of overseas Pakistanis and will facilitate those who have to travel long distances from different cities and far-off places to the Pakistan missions. He said that the automated system will reduce costs and minimise hassle by providing attestation services at the doorstep.

The foreign minister hoped that this facility currently being provided to overseas Pakistanis will be extended to those at home as well.

“Technology is the future and we can improve our governance as well as enhance transparency through utilising it. We would like to collaborate further in order to bring other services online. It is a matter of great pride that countries like Nigeria are following Pakistan’s model and expertise for their institutions,” Bilawal said.

NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik said that identification is one of the key manifestations of the explosive spread of digital technology, adding that the authority is now helping the government institutions capitalise on this digital transformation by taking performative action based on our analysis of human connections. He said that Pakistanis globally will now be able to exercise their right to give representative authority digitally and with unprecedented certainty about their identity in both physical and virtual realms.

The automation of power of attorney was initially launched in November 2021 as a pilot project in 10 Pakistan missions/ sub-missions in the United States and the United Kingdom. Now, this service will be available to all the Pakistani diaspora living abroad globally.

According to a statement issued by the NADRA here, it stated that the authority has designed, developed and implemented a web-based solution to digitally issue PAO, adding that more than nine million overseas Pakistanis can avail this facility from the comfort of their homes, eliminating the need and cost of travel to a Pakistani mission. This will particularly benefit those overseas Pakistanis who live at a distance from an embassy or consulate, it added.

It stated that the innovative solution for digital PoA, created by NADRA, utilizes state-of-the-art Pak-ID Online Biometric Verification Services. During the application, the applicant(s) (also known as Executor(s)) along with two witnesses will scan and upload their paper-based biometrics, which are verified through the National Database in real-time. NADRA has then enabled a Video Interview Module in the application that will allow the Consular Officer at the concerned Pakistan Mission to conduct online interview of the executor(s), witnesses, and notarize their consent to execute the PoA.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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