Lahore High Court Allows Women to Retain Father’s Name on CNIC and Passport

The Lahore High Court has directed the immigration and passport department to finalize its consultative process and amend the rules within three months to allow women to retain their father’s name on their computerized national identity card (CNIC) and passport, irrespective of their marital status.

Justice Asim Hafeez issued the order in response to a petition by Mehr Bano Langrial, who sought a declaration that a married woman has the right to keep her father’s name on her identity documents, such as the CNIC and passport, regardless of her marital status.

Additional Attorney General Mirza Nasar Ahmad informed the court that the federal government had no objection to the petitioner’s request. Immigration and Passport Additional Director Attaur Rehman mentioned that the consultative process is ongoing, and policy/rule changes are needed to allow women the option of retaining their father’s name on passports. However, updating passport details and sharing them with foreign authorities will take time.

While NADRA’s policy already allows a married woman to choose to keep her father’s name on her CNIC, the Directorate General of Immigration and Passport requires married women to update their CNICs with their husbands’ names to apply for a passport.

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