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Wednesday April 24, 2024

Diplomatic passports of 9 PTI leaders, AML chief Sheikh Rashid revoked

These 10 politicians were members of Imran Khan 's govt and their diplomatic passports were cancelled a year after PTI was ousted

By Ayaz Akbar Yousufzai
May 27, 2023
Former state minister Farrukh Habib, former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, and former railways minister Azam Swati. — APP/INP/Files
Former state minister Farrukh Habib, former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, and former railways minister Azam Swati. — APP/INP/Files

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:

  • President of Pakistan
  • Prime Minister of Pakistan
  • Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan
  • Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan
  • Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan
  • Governors of the provinces;
  • Chief ministers of the provinces
  • Ministers of the government of Pakistan
  • Attorney General for Pakistan
  • Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
  • Chief of Army Staff
  • Chief of Naval Staff
  • Chief of Air Staff
  • Ex-presidents of Pakistan
  • Ex- prime ministers of Pakistan
  • Ministers of State to the Government of Pakistan
  • Ex-chairmen of the Senate of Pakistan and ex-speakers of the National Assembly of Pakistan
  • Special assistants to the prime minister
  • All functionaries of the federal government with the status of a federal minister or minister of state;
  • Chairman, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission;
  • Officers in BPS-17 and above of Pakistan Foreign Service for the duration of their membership of the Foreign Service of Pakistan
  • All other officers in BPS-17 and above, including officers of armed forces having equivalent ranks proceeding abroad on diplomatic assignments and having a diplomatic status for the duration of their posting or other short-term assignments abroad.
  • Pakistan nationals holding following offices in international organisations: president of the UN General Assembly; president of the specialised agencies of the UN such as WHO, ILO, FAO, etc; executive heads of the Secretariat of such autonomous and subsidiary organisations of the UN General Assembly as have acquired eminence like WTO, UNIDO etc; directors representing Pakistan in the IBRD, IMF and the Asian Development Bank; president and vice-presidents of the World Bank and Managing Director & Directors of IMF; Officers holding the rank of assistant secretary-general and above in the UN secretariat and its specialised agencies; secretary generals ECO, SAARC and OIC Secretariats; and executive director of the Islamic Development Bank

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.