ISLAMABAD: The federal government has cancelled the diplomatic passports of 9 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders and Awami Muslim League chief Shiekh Rashid as part of its crackdown on perpetrators, plotters, abettors, and facilitators of attacks on military and government buildings on May 9, reported Geo News.
These 10 politicians were members of former prime minister Imran Khan's government and their diplomatic passports were cancelled more than a year after the PTI government was ousted.
A notification issued by the director general of immigration and passports on May 24 said that the authorities have decided to “cancel and inactivate” the passports of nine Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders and Awami Muslim League chief as they were no longer “entitled” to hold diplomatic passports.
The PTI leaders whose passports have been cancelled include Aon Abbas Bappi, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Pervez Khattak, Ali Amin Gandapur, Ali Muhammad Khan, Farrukh Habib, Zartaj Gul, Azam Khan Swati and AML chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.
All these politicians were part of Imran Khan’s cabinet when he was in power from 2018-2022.
Reacting to the revocation of the diplomatic passport, the AML chief claimed that he had been a federal minister 16 times and was “corruption-free”.
“I did not run away from the country like Zardari, Nawaz [and] Dar but today my citizenship, passport has been cancelled,” claimed Rashid.
Schedule IV of Passport Rules 2021 explains who can hold diplomatic passports.
Under the rules, these passports can only be issued on the recommendations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Below is the list of people who can hold diplomatic passports:
The rules also state that if these passport holders leave these offices then they have to surrender the document within 30 days of them leaving their office.
It is unclear whether the cabinet members mentioned above had given up their passports or why they were cancelled after more than a year of them leaving office.