This is not the first time that Pakistan has faced such an issue. Earlier in 2013, passport printing came to a similar grinding halt due to the DGI&P owing money to printers and a lack of lamination papers.
Islamabad: Pakistani citizens are facing difficulties in obtaining new passports due to a nationwide shortage caused by the country’s limited supply of lamination paper, news agency ANI quoted in The Express Tribune report.
According to the report in the publication, numerous individuals who need a passport for international travel related to study, work, or leisure, are struggling to obtain the new green-coloured book with no apparent resolution in sight. A resident of Gujrat in Pakistan – Zain Ijaz – who secured admission to a university in the UK now faces issues as he can’t travel without a valid passport.
Reportedly, the lamination paper used in passports is imported from France.
Students in Pakistan are stuck at home with approved visas to pursue degrees in UK or Italy, waiting on their passports to arrive. Many are scared the endless wait might lead to them losing this opportunities, threatening to shatter their aspirations. “My student visa for Italy was recently approved and I had to be in the country in October. However, the unavailability of a passport robbed me of an opportunity to leave,” student from Peshawar Hira said.
“I was all set to move to Dubai for work soon. My family and I were beyond ecstatic that our fortunes would finally change but the mismanagement of DGI&P seems to have cost me my golden ticket out poverty and this country,” news agency ANI quoted The Express Tribune reported where bemoaned Gul, who belongs to a far-flung area in Punjab, said.
This is not the first time that Pakistan has faced such an issue. Earlier in 2013, passport printing came to a similar grinding halt due to the DGI&P owing money to printers and a lack of lamination papers, reported The Express Tribune.
On being asked about DGI&P’s inefficiency, Qadir Yar Tiwana, the Director General for Media of the Ministry of Interior, the parent ministry of DGI&P, said, “The situation will soon be under control, and passport issuance will continue as normal.” Tiwana informed that the government was doing its best to navigate the crisis, adding, that the department had already witnessed a steady decline in the backlog.
Many residents complained of receiving messages from the DGI&P telling them their passport was ready for pickup but when they reached the passport office they were turned away.
Reportedly, the passport offices in Pakistani cities are also clueless about when the process could be restarted.