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Ahsan Iqbal inaugurated MRPs in Jeddah

19 January, 2015

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JEDDAH – Minister of Planning, National Reforms and Development Ahsan Iqbal inaugurated a new hall for machine readable passports (MRPs) at the Pakistani consulate in Jeddah in the presence of Ambassador Manzoor ul Haq.

Vice Counselor Asif Hussain Memon said that the newly constructed hall is designed to double the capacity for issuance of MRPs. Previously, there was only one hall that accommodated all the counters for all the relevant services. The consulate has divided the new hall into two, with provision for future expansion.

Speaking at the occasion, Ahsan said that the government had instructed the local mission to contact the Saudi authorities and complete the formalities for facilitating MRPs in Madinah. He said that the government would talk to its Saudi counterpart with regards to the establishment of Pakistani schools in Makkah and Madinah.

"Overseas Pakistanis are the backbone of Pakistan and have been contributing to the economy. They deserve VIP services and facilities, which the government is obliged provide," he said. He said that the government would further upgrade educational facilities at the embassy schools.

The minister said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has established a committee under his leadership for the purpose. He stated that the government would successfully tackle Pakistan's energy crisis by 2018, adding that there is an improvement in Karachi's law and order situation.

Ahsan emphasised the need for expanding trade and investment with Saudi Arabia. "The relationship of Pakistan with the Kingdom is very important and strong, but the bilateral trade and investment is low," he said. "We have a plan for boosting bilateral trade and investment."

Asif Memon stated that about 1,000 people visit the consulate for consular and other services daily as Jeddah has the largest concentration of Pakistani expatriates in the Kingdom. He added that there was also a plan to build a new consulate.

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