Committee tasked with identifying culprits and system weaknesses within 15 days

ISLAMABAD:

The Federal Ministry of Interior has established a committee to investigate the alleged issuance of over 12,000 Pakistani passports to Afghan nationals residing in Saudi Arabia.

Led by the Director-General of Passports, the committee includes the Deputy Secretary of the Interior Ministry, as well as senior officials from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA).

The committee’s mission is to identify the officials responsible for passport issuance and to pinpoint deficiencies in the system. Their findings will be submitted to the ministry within 15 days.

 

The Ministry of Interior took action in response to Saudi Arabian authorities’ revelation that they had seized over 12,000 Pakistani passports from Afghan citizens. Riyadh also formally communicated this matter to Islamabad.

 

It became evident that these passports were obtained by Afghan citizens through collusion with passport officials at multiple passport centres in Pakistan.

Last month, the government issued an ultimatum to individuals residing in Pakistan illegally, instructing them to leave the country by the end of October.

This action led the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) to express concerns about Afghan profiling and a “narrow view of national security.”

Last week, the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) reassured that Afghan nationals staying legally in Pakistan would neither be harassed nor arrested.

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