Pakistan has 50 million passports holders in the country, while Pakistan would be one of the pioneer countries to launch an e-passport with a chip installed in the data page of the e-passport.
These numbers came from Director General Immigration and Passport, Dr. Naeem Rauf, who briefed the Senate Standing Committee on Interior meeting, which was chaired by Senator Mohsin Aziz in Islamabad on Thursday.
The DG Immigration and Passport apprised the committee that at present, there are 180 passport offices in Pakistan and 292 passport offices worldwide. He informed that so far, 71 passport offices across the country have a one-window facility.
In the fiscal year 2020-21, a total of 2,406,495 passports were issued, while 9,037 passports were backlisted and placed in category ‘B’. DG I&P, in his briefing, said that the organization generates revenue worth Rs. 24 billion annually. The meeting was informed that currently, there are 50 million passport holders in the country. E-passport and e-counter facility would also be set up in the coming few years. A chip would be installed on the data page of the e-passport.
During the briefing, the senators raised questions regarding the procedure for the extension of visas. The committee members noted that the process of extension of visas is time-consuming. The committee members said that a time frame should be set for the verification of visas. Secretary Interior stated that a time frame had been fixed with the agencies in this regard.
At the end of the briefing, the Chairman committee decided to award the Directorate with the “letter of appreciation” for their remarkable work.