ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has said that the government is planning to launch a new e-passport service on April 28 next year.
Talking to the media persons on Thursday, the interior minister said that the SMS service is being launched to inform people six months prior to the expiry of their passports.
The minister said that Pakistanis aspiring to go to the Middle East will be issued passports for ten years. He said that home delivery of passports is being started in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
The minister said the process of visa issuance to the Chinese nationals working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects will be made even easier.
Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said that he has directed to shorten the Exit Control List (ECL) and the blacklist as there are one hundred thousand people on said list. He said only those elements involved in criminal and anti-state activities should be kept in the list.
The minister said that he has given an ultimatum of one week to the people selling smuggled petrol and diesel. He said if they do not stop this practice, the ministry will take action against them.
Sheikh Rashid Ahmed expressed commitment to improving the financial position of the Directorate of Immigration and Passport.
The minister while predicting that opposition parties will contest Senate polls, said that there is no chance that lawmakers of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) will resign from the assemblies. He said that he is unaware of the expiry date of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s passport. He also asked Maulana Fazlur Rehman to have mercy on the democracy of the country. He further said that Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief is on top of the list of 20 persons facing serious security threats.
While talking about MQM-P, he said that it is a coalition partner of the government and hoped that it will resolve its differences with PTI.