Army: Pakistan files criminal charges against 6 officials for accessing personal information of army chief’s family

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities have initiated criminal proceedings against six officials who allegedly accessed the personal information of army chief General Asim Mounir‘s, a news outlet reported on Saturday.
The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), the main national body responsible for issuing national identity cards and passports by storing citizens’ data, has taken action against its employees following surveys.
A knowledgeable source told the Dawn newspaper that the elements at whose instigation the breach took place were also being prosecuted and that up to six Nadra employees had been fired for illegally accessing the chief of Army The staff family file, following four separate investigations.
The investigations were ordered by Nadra Chairman Tariq Malik on December 23, 2022 and March 2, 2023.
A joint investigation by Nadra and a sensitive security agency in December last year revealed that Farooq Ahmed, a junior official working on a Benazir income support program project, was the first person to illegally access the data in question.
The high-level investigation committee under the direction of the outgoing president expanded the scope of the investigation by technically analyzing logins, user IDs, system logs and IP addresses that were intact, reflecting the strength of the authority database.
This led to the identification of a total of 10 employees who illegally accessed the army chief’s family records. After an investigative investigation, the suspects were cross-examined and a detailed investigation was launched.
As a result, a charge sheet on the charges of unauthorized and unlawful access to COAS family data was subsequently issued to the accused employees on January 6. As a result, in two investigations, the committee found six officials responsible.
He said a committee had imposed a major penalty of dismissal under the Civil Servants (Efficacy and Discipline) Rules 1973 on those six employees, according to the newspaper.
Separately, in a message to employees, Malik, while talking about other aspects, also hinted at the incident involving COAS family data and said that six officials from junior to director level had been dismissed. of their duties and that criminal proceedings had been instituted against them. were being filed.
He urged employees to keep in mind the fundamental principle that whether it is an ordinary citizen or an important official, the secrecy and security of their data must be the top priority, according to The report.
The issue of access to contact details of the army chief’s family members surfaced in the media after his appointment in November last year, but this is the first time details have emerged on criminal activity and actions taken by authorities.
The exact purpose of the data access is not yet known. Munir was serving as a lieutenant general at the time of the alleged data breach, in line to be named to the top job.
Dawn newspaper said earlier that two Pakistani journalists claimed in a vlog that in October 2022, Nadra officers accessed personal data and travel records of General Munir’s family in a bid to stop his appointment. as Army Chief of Staff.
Munir, a former spymaster, took over as the country’s new army chief late last year and became the army’s 17th chief of staff. He replaced General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who retired after two consecutive three-year terms.


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