One passport office each in Lahore, Karachi to offer 24-hour services

Minister Naqvi says round-the-clock service will facilitate, ease public

Our Correspondent May 05, 2024

Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi announced on Sunday that at least one passport office in both Lahore and Karachi will remain open 24/7 to "better serve the public" and improve accessibility of passport services.

In a post on X, Minister Naqvi stated, "This will make it easier for everyone to access passport services anytime," the interior minister's post read.

Earlier this week on Monday, the interior minister suspended passport officials following mounting complaints of bribery and corruption within passport offices.

The minister visited the Lahore Passport Office in Garden Town where he saw a troubling situation, as citizens voiced grievances about long queues, the prevalence of bribery, the dominance of mafia agents, and a backlog of complaints.

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Last month, due to a shortage of lamination paper, the Department of Passports and Immigration had to reduce its daily output from the usual 12,000 passports to only 3,000, prioritizing urgent and e-passport requests.

According to sources, more than 7,000 intending pilgrims from various cities were deprived of the opportunity to perform Umrah in Ramazan due to passport delays.

The sources mentioned that the ink and printers for the machine-readable passports were sourced from Germany. Despite the department's capacity to produce 25,000 passports per day, the number of applications received exceeded 40,000 per day.

In March, sources indicated that the number of applicants in the passport offices of Karachi typically ranged from 4,000 per day, but during the month of Ramazan, it decreased from 1,800 to 2,000.


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