close
Thursday April 18, 2024

People decry delay in passport issuance

Officials at passport office attributed backlog to accumulation of hundreds of thousands of passport applications over several months

By Muhammad Jalil
February 16, 2024
The night view of the Executive passport office can be seen. — Facebook/Executive passport office Islamabad
The night view of the Executive passport office can be seen. — Facebook/Executive passport office Islamabad

CHAKDARA: Passport applicants at the Islamabad head office are facing significant delays, with over 50,000 passports reportedly pending issuance for more than three months.

The delay has particularly affected pilgrims intending to perform Umrah and Hajj, causing severe inconvenience to thousands of individuals from Chakdarra, Batkhela, Swat, and surrounding areas.

Several protesters, led by Saleemullah and Shahabur Rehman, expressed frustration, stating that despite applying for Umrah and Hajj visas three months prior, they have yet to receive their passports. They lamented that despite paying the required fees at the Islamabad head office, their applications remain unprocessed.

Officials at the passport office attributed the backlog to the accumulation of hundreds of thousands of passport applications over several months.

They acknowledged the daily protests by applicants but claimed that the Islamabad head office is overwhelmed with similar complaints.

One passport applicant from Malakand division told this correspondent that if passports were not issued within a week, the demonstrators, including assembly members, plan to stage a protest outside the Islamabad head office to demand immediate action.