The federal cabinet, which met with Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar in the chair, Monday approved the appointment of Lieutenant General Munir Afsar as the chairman of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).

It is the first time that a serving three-star general has been appointed Nadra chairman. The cabinet okayed the name of the three-star serving officer of Pakistan Army from three names, short-listed by a selection committee. The cabinet had received a summary containing three names from the interior ministry, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.

“The selection committee had shortlisted three best candidates for the post. After a detailed discussion, the cabinet appointed Lieutenant General Munir Afsar to the post,” the communique stated. The newly selected Nadra chairman hails from 16 Punjab Regiment and he is currently posted as Inspector General Communication and Information Technology at General Headquarters.

Later, a notification was also issued, which mentioned that his appointment would come into effect immediately. The three-star general, who was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General in October 2022, has extensive experience in IT-related technical development and management in the Pakistan Army and Pakistan’s Mission in the United Nations.

Lt Gen Afsar, who has received Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military), has done his MPhil in Public Policy and National Security Management. He compiled a research paper on public policy response in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department during the 2010 floods.

The newly-appointed Nadra chairman did his MS in GIS and remote sensing. He was also awarded a presidential award for his paper on rapid geospatial data generation through photometry.

He did his MS in National Resource Strategy (C&IT Industry and Supply Chain Management) from NDU Washington, DC, where he was named a distinguished graduate. He is currently a PhD candidate in Remote Sensing at NUST Islamabad. His research paper is related to the detection of plant diseases through remote sensing and artificial intelligence.

Lt Gen Afsar has several research publications to his credit related to various aspects of IT and GIS. His IT-related work experience includes serving at the UN as a Military Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Officer. His extensive services include the development of a GIS application for flood recovery during the 2010 floods.

As a Major General, he was also the Director General of the DG Command, Control, Communication, Computers, and Intelligence (C41) Directorate, which is responsible for the overall management of IT.

After being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General, he has served as Inspector General of Communication and IT as well as Commander of Pakistan Army Cyber Command. The federal cabinet last month approved rules envisaging appointment of a senior army officer as Nadra chairman.

The caretaker premier, while addressing the cabinet meeting, called for taking measures to enhance job opportunities abroad for skilled workers of Pakistan. He said professional education and vocational training programmes should be compatible with the international job market. Terming human capital an asset to the country, the PM ordered to ensure imparting vocational training as per needs of the modern time on war-footing, adding that all centres of technical and professional training should be revived.

The federal cabinet also approved an amended service level agreement between TAKAMOL and National Vocational and Technical Training Commission. The meeting also allowed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Area Study Centre of the University of Peshawar and the Central Asia Study Centre of Corvinus University Hungary.

The federal cabinet approved renaming of Summit Bank Limited as Bank Makramah Limited, and an agreement between the government of Pakistan and the Government of Ecuador under which holders of diplomatic, official and special passports of both the countries would be exempted from visa.

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