Pakistani people facing problems to get their passports

- Pakistani

So many Pakistanis are tolerating the problem of months-long delays for their passports, in spite of paying a fee of Rs5, 000 for a seven-day urgent delivery.

According to the present scenario they will have to wait for at least a month more despite of waiting for several months.

Many applicants are worried for delay of their passports and they are going again and again to check the status of their passport but a simple answer is given to them by the directorate general of Immigration and Passport (I&P) that the department has run out of lamination paper.

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People are facing this problem from the end of last year. Normally, the immigration and passport authorities would secure lamination paper well before time.

According to a senior I&P officer, the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government, for the sake of its vested political interests, put ‘corrupt’ and ‘incapable’ officers in charge of vital departments in the passport office.

“They ruined the entire set-up, but made millions in the process,” said the officer. He admitted, however, he had no documentary evidence to prove his claims. Acting Manager Logistics Rao Imran and Project Director MRP Maqbool Gondal, a relative of former Chairman Public Accounts Committee Nadeem Afzal Gondal, were held responsible for creating the lamination paper crisis.
via The express Tribune

It is also being observed that agents charged a minimum of Rs5,000 to Rs10,000 to applicants for delivery of passports within a couple of days, at different stations. which Maqbool Gondal made possible using his position.

The Project Director Maqbool Gondal put the work force under extra burden and let a number of passports printed daily increased from 8,000 to a whopping 14,000 that are beyond printing capacity.

This consumed lamination and ink quickly. During the last five years of the PPP government, the number of passport offices has increased from 27 to 70.

The interior ministry – that runs I&P department – took no notice initially, and when it finally did, the former interior minister Rehman Malik did not pay any attention to the real problem and let it to be done as it was going.

On instructions of Malik Rehman, Rao Imran delayed the process of tendering and bidding for lamination paper. Malik wanted to get the contract to American company for the reason of bribe while another German company showed interest and was providing a better quality paper at lower price.

The false objections were raised on the quality of the paper, following which the interior minister cancelled the tender to the company for violations of PPRA (Public Procurement Regulatory Authority) rules.

Now the process of securing lamination paper is stalled by the Islamabad High Court. It has stayed the interior ministry’s decision to award the contract to a US firm, which was allegedly violating rules set by PPRA.

Furthermore, the court has summoned passport authorities on April 15 to answer a French company’s, Hallogram Industries, claims that it won the contract in terms of quality points.

Federal Ombudsman Salman Faruqui on Thursday constituted a four -member inquiry committee to probe charges of ‘widespread corruption and inordinate delay’ in the I&P office.
via The Express Tribune

  • Altaf

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