ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Tuesday directed the Director General Immigration and Passports to start an SMS service for tracking of passports in a week and home delivery service in six major cities of the country.
He issued the directive at a meeting during his visit to the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports Islamabad, said a press release.
DG Immigration and Passports Sikandar Sultan Raja briefed the minister about the organisational setup and the functions of the directorate. He also highlighted the key achievements and accomplishments of the organisation.
Chaudhry Nisar underlined the importance of public dealing in improving the image of the department.
The DG informed the minister that the directorate had completed the process of replacing manual passport with machine readable passport system.
He also briefed about the special arrangements that have been made for the passport issuance to the Haj pilgrims. The directorate has successfully cleared the entire backlog regarding the printing of passport and issuance of citizenship certificates, he added.
The minister decided that passports would be issued for ten years rather than five years and also directed to cancel all official passports issued against the rules and the regulations within next three days.
He directed that the construction of new offices and renovation of old buildings be completed at the earliest to improve the customer service. A new help-line complemented by a facilitation desk be set up at Islamabad office to address complaints of the public regarding passports, the minister said.
Chaudhry Nisar directed to make policy guidelines for setting up of new passport offices. He noticed the shortage of passport offices in Sindh and ordered to produce a report on setting up new offices within the province to facilitate the public.
He instructed the directorate to draft a clear cut policy on citizenship certificates and to modernise the visa extension process and to expedite the process of setting up state-of-the-art call centers to automatically cater to the queries of the citizens.
The minister also asked for a priority list regarding the setting up of foreign machine readable passport offices and visa issuance facilities at foreign destinations, so that the deadline of November 2015 set by ICAO can be met in time.
Chaudhry Nisar ordered that the staff not to cave in to any undue pressure and ordered an enquiry into politically influenced decisions taken in the past. He also asked the directorate to improve its functions and streamline the process to completely eliminate corruption and assist the citizens of the country.
The DG briefed the minister about certain issues that are faced by the directorate and requested for immediate attention by the Ministry of Interior.
The minister assured his full support in addressing the issues and said that he wanted to make it a model directorate of the government, and would do his level best to facilitate the upcoming improvements in it.