Affluent Afghans get Pakistani IDs as poor Pashtuns suffer


KARACHI: For the right price, any Afghan can obtain Pakistani nationality. In fact, hundreds of affluent Afghans have managed to obtain Pakistani IDs in exchange for handsome sums paid to National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) officials, The Frontier Post has learnt.

While poor Afghan refugees and ethnic Pakistani Pashtuns take the hit in the wake of lapses by Nadra in granting CNICs – as was the case with the late Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour’s citizenship – those with enough money can easily obtain CNICs by greasing the right palms.

In 2012, Afghan business tycoon Abdul Rehman Alokozay’s family obtained over 150 computerized national identity cards (CNICs) against a payment of Rs20 million to NADRA officials close to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

“It’s not the only well-off Afghan family enjoying nationality of its neighboring country, however, a big one, which is trading inside this country with Pakistani identity,” a source said. Alokozay Group of Companies (AGC), an Afghani conglomerate with its headquarters in Dubai, has presence in over 40 countries with distribution network in Middle East, Central Asia, Asia, Europe, Africa and North America.

“From the highly successful Alokozay Tea to the flourishing Alokozay Cooking Oils, Tissues, Evaporated Milk, Coffee, Biscuits, 3in1 Tea & Coffee, Sugar, Detergent Powder, Wet Wipes, Baby Diapers, Pasta, Corn Flakes, Engine Oil, Shampoo, Conditioner, Shower Gel, Hand wash, Bar Soap, Toothpaste, Body lotion, Mouthwash and many more premium products, Alokozay continues to expand its horizon”, the website of company reads.

The group’s ABCo in Kabul, Afghanistan is the bottling and distribution plant of the entire range of carbonated Soft drinks, Energy drink, Juices & Water.

“PepsiCo, one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, today signed an Exclusive Bottling Appointment (EBA) with the Alokozay Group of Companies to manufacture and distribute a broad range of PepsiCo beverages in Afghanistan. The beverages will be produced at ABCO (Alokozay Beverages Company), Alokozay’s beverage bottling plant, which will be set up in Kabul with an initial investment of US$ 60 million,” the PepsiCo’s official website announced on April 20, 2011.

Chairman of the group is Abdul Rehman Alokozay, whereas Jalil Alokozay is its Chief Executive Officer and managing director, who is also CEO of the Alokozay International Ltd based in Mississauga, Ontario L5C 2T1, Canada.

The amount, Nadra official, said, was paid by Abdul Waris Alokozay, Lahore based son of the Afghan business tycoon. Unlike his father Abdul Rehman Alokozay and brother Jalil Alokozay, Waris doesn’t carry the family name as he is Chief Executive Officer of Alokozay International (Pvt.) Limited, situated at Suite No 305, 3rd Floor, Eden Tower, Main Boulevard Gulberg III, Lahore Pakistan.

Besides, company in Lahore, the family has several restaurants on the motorways across, Pakistan. Korean made cigarettes Kent, which are sold in abundance in Pakistan, are also smuggled into Pakistan by this same family whereas FBR has been unable to find who to serve the notice with, a source in the Federal Board of Revenue told.

According to Nadra official, the family had shown themselves permanent residents of Mohmand Agency while obtaining Pakistani CNICs. However, the tribe Alokozay has never lived on Pakistani side of the Durand line Border.

The Alokozay, a sub-tribe of the Abdali Pashtuns of Afghanistan, are found primarily in Helmand, Kandahar, Kabul, Laghman, Kunar Sarkani District and Herat provinces in Afghanistan, and form the majority of the population in the Sangin District. “Jaldak, which is located 110 km northeast of Kandahar, is the original domicile of the Alokozay tribe,” according to “The hidden Treasure” (Pata Khazana), a biography of Pashtoon poets Mohammad Hothek.

Few years back, Abdul Rehman Alokozay was kidnapped in Pakistan. “The family secured his release by paying 25 million to the kidnappers” a source close to the family reveals.

A news published in this newspaper in 2012 had reported the issuance of Fake IDs after which the issue was taken up by Standing committee of the National Assembly but it never came to conclusion due to influence of the family in Pakistan’s political circles.

“Such examples of wealthy Afghans are in abundance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. These Afghans are not only rich in term of wealth but they are also very well connected with both the Afghan government and the Taliban,” a source said.

The reason why these Pakistan based rich Afghans keep good relations with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan is because Taliban protect their crops back in Afghanistan – in most cases that of opium – and they help them with protecting their business interests in Pakistan as well, a Pashtun nationalist leader from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa says.

“As they buy Pakistani identity with their wealth, the Pashtuns of Pakistan are humiliated in Punjab and Sindh to get their CNICs,” he adds.

Published in The Frontier Post on Jun 1, 2016


Waziristan IDPs against military operation

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: As the calls are being raised from different segments of society for yet another Waziristan military operation, especially in the aftermath of attack on Malala Yousufzai, the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of the Operation Rah-e-Nijat (Path to Salvation) in South Waziristan on June 19, 2009, who are still homeless have expressed deep concern. Most of the IDPs are living in the slum areas of Karachi in miserable conditions. They sounded apprehensive about the news reports as they talked to Frontier Post.

Mahsud and Burki tribes were the most affected by the strife areas where operation was conducted. Almost 70 percent of the total IDPs, after getting registered at IDPs camps in Dera Ismail Khan, had come to Karachi for the obvious reason that many of them were expecting to  earn a living here. A vast majority of the IDPs are still living in Karachi. Unlike the previous operation in 2004, the whole area was evacuated in the Rah-e-Nijat operation in 2009.

“No one seems to be concerned about our miserable condition for the last three years after we were displaced during Pakistan army’s operation against terrorists,” told Mesri Khan Mehsud, an IDP from South Waziristan now residing in Iitehad Town at the western outskirt of Karachi. He said his family went back after operation but their house was no more there and they had nowhere to live.

The law and order situation in Karachi and a sharp decrease in the job opportunities has multiply their problems as many IDPs previously doing jobs of private security guards and laborer are jobless including Akber Mahsud living in the Sohrab Ghot area of Karachi.

While dreaming the peaceful past of his area the dejected Akber Mehsud is very depressed with the news of another operation in making. “Had these operations been remedy to the deteriorating Law and Order situations, we would have supported it but the previous operations have brought no good to us as during these operation the militants fled to other areas but the locals got displaced”, augured Akber while talking to Frontier Post.

“Instead of fighting against terrorism a war has been waged against terrorists. When a terrorist is eliminated three others are produced” said Munawar Burki, an IDP from South Waziristan and senior vice president of Burki Welfare organization, Karachi while showing another aspect of the operation.

“Waziristan was the most peaceful part of the region as complete peace was observed in the area despite no criminal justice system in place, the fact which may be unbelievable for the criminologists across the world”, said Burki, who, being a privileged and lucky one, has recently done his post graduation in criminology from the University of Karachi.

“We haven’t returned to our area as our house no more exists because it was destroyed during the operation” he said.

While citing a research study in UK, he said every third homeless commits a crime whereas every fifth jobless has criminal tendencies”.  He said the operation had made the people of the area both homeless and jobless, most of them now living in Karachi.

The IDPs of South Waziristan Operation came here without any help from both government and no governmental organizations and they resided in the slum areas of Karachi which are host to many problems. Every type of criminals can be found in these areas, he said.

IDPs who came to Karachi has no access to free rashon, free tents and camps as they were registered in the IDPs camps in DI Khan. They have no alternatives but to go to DI Khan to get their Rashon and other things which is very difficult if not an impossible job.

Published on Oct 20, 2012