‘Serving’ Pakistan abroad: Officers overstay at foreign missions

More than three dozen passport officials unwilling to return to the country.

Zahid Gishkori September 05, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Despite the completion of their postings in Pakistani missions abroad, more than three dozen officials of the directorate of passport and immigration are yet to report back to their parent departments.

There is no proposal to replace these officials, who are posted at 17 foreign missions, DPI officials said, adding that the interior ministry is responsible for not relieving them.

“The interior ministry had posted some of them five years ago and has not replaced them (yet), which is a violation of posting rules,” a senior official said. “We have written to the department responsible to replace the officials, but there has been no response,” said Director-General Syed Wajid Ali.

The DPI is facing an acute shortage of staff as a number of seats are lying vacant at different regional passport and immigration offices, he added. Referring to official rules, he said: “There is no hard-and-fast procedure regarding foreign postings.”

According to documents obtained by The Express Tribune, Alauddin Abbasi and Mujtaba Soomro have been working in Oslo since February 2009, while Faizanul Islam has been working as an UDC in Los Angeles since April 2008. Ghulam Mujtaba Joyo, deputy director, was posted in the US for two years on August 15, 2006, yet he continues his services there, while Rab Nawaz Babar, a systems in-charge, was posted for one year on March 4, 2009, and still continues at his post.

Muhammad Ramzan, one of the printing staff, whose duration of stay was 15 months after posting on April 28, 2008, is still abroad. Muhammad Yasin and Zahid Tajammul Hussain, both data entry operators, were posted on April 28, 2008, and continued their service despite the lapse of their duration of stay in New York, which was 14 months.

Touqeer Abbas was posted in the London immigration office for 18 months in December 2008, while Muhammad Sajjad’s posting has already lapsed. Muhammad Sohail was posted for a year-and-a-half on December 1, 2008, while Faiz Hussain, who was posted for five months in December 2009, is still in London.

Muhammad Israr (Dubai), Nazeer Ahmad and Tahir Ali Nasir (Jeddah) have stayed abroad well beyond their official tenures.

Sohail Rashid, Muhammad Arshad and Farhan Shahzad were posted in Pakistan’s mission in Rome for about two and a half years, but they are still there

Muhammad Raheel Rana, Muhammad Ishtiaq Latif and Muhammad Saleem (Frankfurt) and Shahzad Qayum, Muhammad Khurram Iqbal, Mansoor Mangi and Sajjad Mustafa Bajwa (Toronto) and Nasir Abbas and Umar Saeed (Riyadh) have all worked well beyond their official tenures.

Passport Facility Abroad

Some 17 Pakistan missions are providing machine-readable passports.

According to the already approved plan, all 109 Pakistani missions will be equipped with machine-readable passport facilities.

Some 23 of the 109 missions have already been provided with these facilities. Over 1.04 million machine-readable passports have been issued by Pakistani missions over the past five years.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th,  2011.

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