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SMS service introduced for passports information

17 September, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday said an SMS service has been introduced for passports to provide information about travelling documents and deliver them at home.

He said the applicants would be kept informed about the delivery of passports through SMSs, and frequent visits of the office would not be necessary. The applicants would also be able to give their feedback and suggestions through SMS in order to further improve the passport making procedure, he added. Inaugurating the SMS service, the minister told the media that the new project was his idea and it was implemented due to the efforts of director general passport. He said more than 73 new passport offices had been established all over the country, while efforts were continuing to improve services on fast-track basis.

The new offices, he added, were being fully equipped with provision of all facilities. He appreciated the Passport Office officials for creation of a new system that could be further improved with passion and hard work. Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said a new system would also be introduced next month in Rawalpindi and Islamabad under which passport would be delivered on the applicants’ doorstep. Subsequently, this home delivery system would be expanded to other major cities in next six months. He said better policies adopted by the Passport Office and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) had resulted in their revenue raise. The revenue target of Passport Office for this fiscal year was Rs 21 billion, which was Rs 17.7 billion and Rs 18 billion during last two years, respectively. Similarly, he said, NADRA, “which suffered Rs 1.2 billion loss during Pakistan People’s Party regime”, has now registered Rs 5 billion profit. Work is in progress to provide Machine Readable Passport (MRP) facility in 91 missions aboard which, he added, was expected to be completed by end of this year.

Moreover, the minister said efforts were underway to bring further improvement in the performance of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and NADRA. He said the Passport Office in collaboration with NADRA would establish 13 centres of international standard in the country, starting from Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi to facilitate the people. The other important matter Nisar Ali Khan announced was deletion/removal of names of 65,000 persons from the Exit Control List (ECL) and from Black List. He said a separate ECL policy would be formulated for foreigners.

Giving a break-up, the interior minister said 4,987 names had been deleted from the ECL and only those persons had been retained on the list whose period of placement was less than three years and or those who were involved in anti-state activities/terrorism or related to proscribed organizations, 4th schedulers and placed on the orders of superior courts. In addition, he said, 59,603 persons placed on the Black List (BL) had been removed.

Their details included: deleted 22,491, shifted to Passport Control List (PCL) 9,660 and placed on Visa Control List (VCL) 27,452. He said in future people would be placed on the ECL only on the recommendations of defence institutions, intelligence agencies, high courts and the Supreme Court. The people belonging to proscribed organisations, accused of drug trafficking, and those involved in spying against the country would never be allowed to travel abroad, he added.

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