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Pakistan’s Geo-Mapping by BISP may be security risk: Dilshad

  • KANWAR-DILSHAD.jpg

Islamabad Chairman, National Democratic Foundation (NDF) Kanwar Dilshad, has expressed serious concerns about the present National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) survey being conducted by the BISP.
According to press release issued here, he said that according to media reports, it is planned to conduct house to house survey to record the socio-economic data of all Pakistani households.
“In the first phase, the project will cover 16 districts and later all the Pakistani districts including AJK and GB will be covered. The total cost of this project is Rs. 17 billion, loan money from World Bank. Pilot project has been started in Gilgit, Charsadda, Mohammad Agency, Mirpur, Lakki Marwat, Qila Saifullah, Kaich, Layyah, Chakwal, Faisalabad, Jaccoabad and Thatta. Harripur, Nasirabad, Sukhur and Bahawalpur are already covered adding that all these districts are on CPEC route”, Dilshad added.
He further said that besides other parameters the survey will record GPS coordinates of all the households which will be done through computerized tablets. On 25 February 2017, the government informed the media that in order to ensure complete coverage of the population, computer based enlisting with the help of Google maps would also be utilized.
The NDF team opined that in the past the government has expelled iMap (an American NGO) and another from Pakistan as they were recording the coordinates of various locations and preparing satellite maps.
Dilshad said that during his time as a Secretary Election Commission, the Government did not allow donors to conduct geo-mapping of constituencies in Pakistan adding that BISP is plagued with foreign consultants, consulting firms and NGOs who are even not registered with the government. Stories of corruption in BISP are already in media.
He further said that the question is that why the government is allowing satellite mapping of all the households of Pakistan, AJK and GB. He raised the question of the data security? If the data gets into the hands of anti-Pakistan elements, will it not make all the households in Pakistan vulnerable to drone attacks? Yesterday Pakistan has already received first gift from Trump Administration in the form of Drone attack in Lower Kurram.
Talking about the BISP, he said that it a poverty alleviation program and instead of giving Rs 17 billion to consultants and NGOs for mapping, why does it not spend the same money to help the poor and needy? Why don’t BISP combine its survey with population census 2017 starting in March 2017 to save Rs 17 billion of the nation?
He emphasized that the premier security agency should take custody of all the tablets and data. The government needs to review its strategy in this regard.

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