Senior adviser to Federal Ombudsman visits Passport office

Senior adviser to Federal Ombudsman visits Passport office

KARACHI, Feb 23 (APP) :Senior Advisor and In charge Federal Ombudsman Regional Office Karachi, Syed Anwaar Hyder on Friday, directed the Immigration and Passport department to enhance staff strength and increase bank counters to further facilitate the citizens in acquiring a passport.

During his visit to the main Immigration and Passport office in Saddar Karachi along with associate adviser Riaz Ahmed Memon, he stressed on befitting measures to fast track the process of issuance of Passport particularly printing and lamination of the basic travel document.

He said that the visit to the regional passport office was carried out on the directives of Wafaqi Mohtasib Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi. He said that a complete inspection of functional areas and facilities was conducted besides taking briefing from the officials.

The senior adviser, while talking to official media at the occasion, informed that several applicants complained that they were not receiving their passports on the given dates and they had to pay several visits to the office to receive their passport.

Citizens intending to go abroad especially students and workers were facing difficulties because of delays in issuance of passports that have mainly been caused due to issues with the availability of lamination paper, he said adding that the Ombudsman secretariat will recommend the government to find out a permanent solution and ensure issuance of passport on time to save citizens from hardship.

Syed Anwaar Hyder said that Immigration and Passport Department South Zone was issuing more than 500,000 passports annually from Karachi and on average 2500 to 3000 citizens visit the main office at Saddar daily. He said that staff and office space were deficient to deal with such a large number of applicants.

He observed and asked the officials to deploy more staff and enhance the number of bank counters to cater to the large number of applicants swiftly.

The Senior Adviser opined that the Immigration and Passport department should be developed in line with corporate sector standards like National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) as it would help further improve its services.

Director of Immigration and Passport South Zone, Saeed Ahmed briefed that district offices for Central, South, West, and Keamari districts of Karachi have a special counter for government servants, senior citizens, and persons with different abilities. He said there was an executive center in the Clifton area that extends services to citizens from all areas of Karachi while a special counter has been set up at Sindh High Court to facilitate the lawyers’ fraternity.

He informed that a proposal for establishing a district office in Korangi was also under consideration. He said that stringent measures were taken to discourage the involvement of agents and brokers and several First Investigation Reports (FIRs) had also been registered in the regard.

The Saddar Office also issued Hajj passports to a large number of Pilgrims and it would remain open on Saturday as well to facilitate Hujjaj-e-Karam in receiving their passports.

He lauded the proactive role of the Federal Ombudsman in resolving public complaints and stated that intervention by Wafaqi Mohtasib helped improve the services of the department.

Earlier, the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat’s team visited different district offices and counters to inspect facilities being offered to the applicants. They also interacted with the applicants present on the premises, and inquired about the services being provided to them.

The senior adviser also listened to complaints and issued at-the-spot directives to resolve them.

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