As per Sources, Pakistan is preparing to be one of the first states to offer chip-enabled electronic passports. With 50 million passport holders, Pakistan is among the world’s most populated countries, and it will be one of the first countries to deploy an electronic passport with a chip integrated into the data page of the e-passport.
According to Dr. Naeem Rauf, Director General of Immigration and Passport, who informed the Senate Central Committee on Interior session, which was headed by Senator Mohsin Aziz on Thursday in Islamabad, these figures come from the Department of Immigration and Passport.
The Director-General of Immigration and Passport informed the committee that there are 180 passport facilities in Pakistan and 292 passport offices globally at the time of the meeting. It has been reported that 71 passport offices around the country have implemented the single window system.
There were 2,406,495 passports issued in the fiscal year 2020-21, with 9,037 passports being blacklisted and placed in category ‘B’ during that year. A statement from the Director-General of I&P stated that the agency produces revenue of Rs 24 billion every year.
The meeting was informed that the country presently has 50 million passport holders, which is a significant number. In addition, an e-passport and an e-counter facility would be established within the next few years. The data page of the e-passport would be equipped with a chip for storage purposes.
During the briefing, senators asked questions on the mechanism for extending visas, which was answered by the State Department. The members of the committee expressed their dissatisfaction with the length of time it takes to extend visas.
The members of the committee agreed that a timeline for the verification of visas should be established. When asked about a timeline, the Secretary of the Interior indicated that one had been agreed upon with the agencies in question.
At the conclusion of the briefing, the Chairman committee decided to provide the Directorate with a “note of appreciation” in recognition of their outstanding efforts.