Exit Control List should be brought down to 25,000, says interior minister
ISLAMABAD:The government has decided to extend the validity of passports for labourers to 10 years without additional charges in move that would facilitate the Pakistani diaspora abroad, especially in the Middle Eastern countries.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed clarified that the decision would not be applicable on ‘official and red’ passports as the facility was only meant for the labour class.
“The new passport will be issued at the previous fee of Rs3,000 and this decision will be implemented from January 1,” he said while speaking to the media after visiting the office of Directorate General of Immigration and Passport on Thursday.
“It is a gift from Prime Minister Imran Khan to all the Pakistani labour community, especially in the Middle East,” he added.
The minister said a new e-passport would be launched from April 28 next year which would help maintain data on modern lines and improve the country’s image abroad. He added that an express service was being introduced across the country for home delivery of passports.
“The facility has been activated in Islamabad and will soon be available in Rawalpindi,” he said. “An SMS service has also been started today (Thursday) with the basic aim of informing the passport holders six months before expiry of their passports,” he added.
According to the minister, the ‘e-service’ is being initiated in 191 countries from January 1. Rashid said 64 officers of the Passport and Immigration Department were overstaying in different countries, adding they all would be called back and new officers would be posted there at the earliest.