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Wednesday May 29, 2024

Pakistani-Australian woman tells PM she had to stand at customs counter for hours

Customs collector says PM gave no instruction about sending overseas Pakistanis through the Green Channel

By Tariq Abul Hasan
April 15, 2024
Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel stand guard at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. — AFP/File
Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel stand guard at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. — AFP/File

KARACHI: A Pakistani-Australian woman has written a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif complaining that customs officials had shut down the Green Channel for foreign passengers at the Karachi airport. 

The female passenger, in her letter, said that she had to stand at the customs counter for hours due to closure of the channel.

Meanwhile, a customs official said the PM gave no instruction about sending overseas Pakistanis through the said channel.

The Karachi airport sources said foreign passengers who have dutiable or restricted goods are passed through the Red Channel for customs clearance and the ones who do not have dutiable goods are passed through the Green Channel.

She told the customs officials that the Green Channel facility was available at all airports as per order of the prime minister, the passenger said.

"The customs officials did not give a reasonable answer to my query," she told the PM and demanded action against the customs inspector and collector.

Customs Collector Shafiq Latki said the allegation of closure of the Green Channel was not true. He said as per the policy, foreign passengers' luggage are checked based on suspicion, therefore, the woman was sent to the Red Channel.

Furthermore, he apprised, that there was no instruction from PM Shehbaz to send overseas Pakistanis through the Green Channel.