imran zakir

KARACHI: Ministry of Interior Government of Pakistan grabbing money from poor people who wish to make their ordinary passports. The Ministry has been instructed to regional Passport offices verbally to entertain only urgent cases and discouraging ordinary applicants of Passports in the garb of COVID-19 pandemic but has not issued any written notification in this regards. Thousands of Passports applicants in Karachi are suffering by this undeclared cruel policy of the Government instead of providing any relief in this worst COVID-19 situation when general public is facing severe economic crisis.
‘The Financial Daily’ enquired from the Director of Passport Office Karachi III Central, and IV South Office located on Shahrah-e-Iraq, Karachi that why they are refusing to issue Ordinary Passports to the applicants without any prior notification from the Ministry of Interior, Government of Pakistan. However, he failed to provide any notification but offered this scribe to get as many ordinary passports ready, as he may desire. This scribed replied that he has no case in hand as he is not playing as an agent.
The applicants are informed by the Counter staff of the Passport Office that due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Pakistan is issuing only urgent Passports and the revenue collection agency, National Bank of Pakistan staff is issuing only the Challan forms for urgent passports; when enquired from the Passport Office Branch Manager about this issue, he said, they are bound to follow instructions by the Director Passport Office Karachi, Khalid Memon and did not want to comment on this issue.
The applicants sitting in the queue informed this scribe that when they asked about the Ordinary Passports, the staff informed then that as per orders from their superiors, they are not entertaining applications for ordinary passports. So any one who is in need has to pay the double fees for the passport because Urgent Passport costs Rs.6000/- instead of the ordinary one’s fees of Rs.3000/.
When ‘The Financial Daily’ contacted the Director and asked him if there is any government notification that your staff is refusing to issue the ordinary passports, he denied and offered to issue as many Ordinary Passports as your Newspaper team needed.
Meanwhile TFD team visited the Deputy Director, Saeed Abbasi’s Office to ask the same question regarding his subordinates who are refusing the ordinary passports, he also denied and given the lame excuse of COVID-19 pandemic. He said we are trying to discourage crowd here in our office to prevent public from the spread of this disease.
The Bank record can be seen that Bank is receiving only the urgent passport fees except of few influential or blue-eyed as TFD team was also offered. The passport agents outside the Passport Office inform the TFD team that other Karachi offices are issuing the Ordinary Passport but this Shahrah-e-Iraq, Karachi’s biggest office is not issuing ordinary passports. Sources informed us that Director, Khalid Memon is just generating revenue for the Government to show his high performance.