Interior Minister unveils secure, reliable, hassle-free passport system

Interior Minister unveils secure, reliable, hassle-free passport system

ISLAMABAD, Jun 10 (APP):Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Saturday announced the successful development of a robust and reliable passport system in the country, which complies with international standards and is crucial in providing secure travel documents to citizens and facilitating visa-free travel.

He was addressing the launching ceremony of passport processing counters, inland online passport renewal facility and e-passport facility for the residents of Islamabad Capital Territory at the Directorate General of Immigration and Passport (DGI&P) Headquarters. Director General I&P Yawar Hussain and Chairman NADRA Tariq Malik were also present on the occasion.

The minister said the introduction of e-passports, an online passport renewal system within the country and passport processing counters would empower our citizens, streamline their travel and contribute to the overall development and prosperity of our nation. Efforts were being made to strengthen partnerships and cooperation with other countries to enhance facilitation, he added.

Expressing his joy and pride, the interior minister highlighted the significance of this milestone in Pakistan’s technological advancement and public service delivery. He said the initiative includes the establishment of 30 passport processing counters in NADRA offices located in areas where dedicated passport offices are not available besides the online renewal of passports within the country and the launch of the e-passport facility in Islamabad.

Rana Sanaullah said that the accomplishment was the result of a collaborative effort between the DGI&P and NADRA and commended Yawar Hussain, Tariq Malik, and their dedicated teams for their hard work.

Emphasizing the importance of these measures, the minister that they aim to enhance passport security and provide convenience to citizens. “The e-passport facility incorporates state-of-the-art security features, such as biometric data and digital signatures, effectively reducing the risks of passport fraud and identity theft. This, in turn, will instill greater confidence in our passport system.”

He further announced that while the e-passport facility was previously available only for official and diplomatic passports, it will now be extended to the residents of Islamabad and gradually to people across the country.
The minister said the in-country online passport renewal system will allow citizens to renew their passports online, eliminating the need for multiple visits to passport offices. Through the dedicated web portal, applicants can submit their applications, upload required documents, and track the progress of their applications, he added.

The minister said that the digital transformation would save valuable time for citizens and spare them the inconvenience of repeated visits to passport offices.

He said under the current passport policy, each district is required to have a passport office, which incurs significant costs of approximately 30 million rupees, including land acquisition, site preparation, human resources, furniture, and technology infrastructure.
In view of this, he added, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has taken the decision to establish passport processing counters under one roof at NADRA centers.

He said that as part of the same plan, 30 passport processing counters would be established at NADRA centers located at various locations.

The collaboration between DPI&P and NADRA aims to optimize the utilization of government resources and effectively address the critical economic situation of the country. The initiative aligns with the vision of PM Shehbaz Sharif and will alleviate the burden on the state exchequer, he added

The minister said that these passport processing counters would cater to individuals who prefer completing their applications in their respective tehsils. Trained personnel stationed at these counters will guide applicants through the data acquisition process and ensure the transfer of data to Passport HQ for passport printing, he added.

Rana Sanaullah said that honourable Members of Parliament would inaugurate the passport processing counters in their respective areas. “These steps mark the beginning of our journey toward a modern passport system,” he concluded.

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