Govt believes in transparency: Nisar

Jan 01, 2014| Courtesy by : nation.com.pk

RAWALPINDI – The Directorate of Passports and Immigration has improved its performance and solved the pending cases of 400,000 passports in six months, said Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan while inaugurating newly constructed building of Regional Passport Office here on Tuesday.

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He said the government has cancelled as many as 2,000 blue passports that had been issued to unofficial persons by the PPP government. “PML-N government is striving hard to provide relief to the masses. The government also believed in good governances and transparency,” he added.
A large number of PML-N MNAs and MPAs and workers including Yasir Butt, DCO Sajid Zafar Dall, Regional Police Officer (RPO) Akhter Umar Lalayka and officials of Immigration Department attended the ceremony.
Addressing the ceremony, Chaudhry Nisar said that Directorate of Passports and Immigration would soon expand its new service to six provincial capitals including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan where passports would be delivered at doorsteps of the applicants. He said that state-of-the-art buildings of passport offices having latest equipments would be set up across the country to facilitate the citizens.
He said that acquiring passport was fundamental right of every citizen and the government was making all-out efforts to fulfil its duty in this regard.
“Various facilities have been provided at Regional Passport Office Rawalpindi including online tracking and SMS service. This has brought the centre at par with the developed countries under which applicants could get information about present status of their applications,” the minister said.
He said that under the newly introduced system, only one visit of an applicant to passport office was mandatory for giving photo and thumb impression, while the staff concerned would be duty-bound to issue passport within the given time frame.
The new passports would be issued for ten years rather than five years, he said adding that the new passports were being issued from January 1, 2014. He also announced establishment of bank counters inside passport offices where bank branches are at a distance from passport offices.
The Minister appreciated performance of Director General (DG) Immigration and Passports and his team to clear all the backlog of passports and taking solid steps to facilitate the applicants. He said the construction of new offices and renovation of old buildings was being completed to improve the customer service. Nisar said the directorate has been directed to improve its functions and streamline the process to completely eliminate corruption and assist the citizens of the country.
On the occasion, DG Immigration and Passports Sikandar Sultan Raja briefed the minister about newly constructed building of the regional passport office, which has been completed at a cost of Rs 47.9 million.
He said the jurisdiction of the RPO Rawalpindi includes all tehsils except Gujar Khan and Kahuta with an approximate population of 3.8 million. He said that around 550 to 600 applicants daily visit the office. He also announced establishment of Bank counters inside passport offices where bank branches were at a distance from passport offices.
Responding to media men queries, Nisar said that political parties snubbed PML-N over his word “Tamasha” in National Assembly which was not good. He said that the PPP-led government staged huge Tamasha in its five years term but no body criticised it.
“PPP pushed the country at the verge of destruction by stopping trains, airplanes and economy. But PML-N improved all these sectors in six months,” Nisar said in response to another question.