ISLAMABAD: Wafaqi Mohtasib has summoned today [Wednesday] an official of the Ministry of Interior and sought a compliance report over the non-payment of salaries to employees of immigration and passports section at Pakistan’s foreign missions across the globe.
Currently a number of people, working at foreign missions under the Machine Readable Passport [MRP] project, are forced to live on roads and starve due to non-payment of their salaries and house allowance for the last many months.
According to a letter, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, the Wafaqi Mohtasib has called director general of the Directorate of Immigration and Passports, asking him to share a compliance report and resolve the issue.
Moreover, the interior ministry’s focal person has also been summoned to resolve various issues of Pakistanis living in Milan, Italy.
Talking to The Express Tribune Federal Ombudsman’s Senior Adviser Law/Registrar Ahsan Ahmad Khokhar said a few weeks back the Community Welfare Attaché in Milan raised several issues that are being faced by over 130,000 Pakistanis living there.
He said the Pakistanis have raised the issue of non-issuance of computerised driving licences and requested for a liaison with the Italian government to convert their Pakistani driving licence into an Italian one.
Sharing other complaints lodged by overseas Pakistanis, he said the Pakistanis in Milan have also lodged complaints about being harassed by staff at Pakistani airports. They complained that airport staff talk to them rudely and also ask for bribes.
Moreover, a person on political asylum in Milan cannot renew his passport after its expiry from Milan consulate even with a valid CNIC, overseas NIC and international ID card, he said.
“They are referred to Rome for renewal which is very difficult for many Pakistanis as they cannot afford travel with their limited resources,” he said. Moreover a common member of the Pakistani community does not have access to the general consular or assistant consular of Milan embassy.
“Wafaqi Mohtasib has taken all the issues related to the Pakistani community in Milan very seriously. Some of the issues have been resolved and others are being addressed,” he said.
He said the Pakistanis were also facing problem of validity of nikkah-namas.
“Overseas Pakistani Muslims, who married earlier or will be marrying, have got a legal cover now as their nikkah-namas will be valid in Pakistan and will also be registered in Milan Consulate,” he said.
He said three mosques have been officially designated in Milan where marriages of Muslims will be registered. “They had to face great difficulty in proving their marriages without any kind of registration earlier,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2016.
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