Wednesday July 24, 2024

Probe launched into driving licenses saga

By Bureau report
July 10, 2024
This representational image shows a driving license. — Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police/website/file
This representational image shows a driving license. — Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police/website/file

PESHAWAR: The Anti-Corruption Establishment has launched a probe into the issuance of driving licenses to overseas Pakistanis by the Transport Department without proper procedure.

When asked by The News, an official of the ACE confirmed that the department had been tasked to probe the issue that earned a bad name for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The probe team is tasked with finding irregularities in the process and to expose the people involved in the scam.

The provincial government authorities were angry at officials of the Transport Department after an international scandal of issuing fake driving licenses to overseas Pakistanis was unearthed recently.

“It could be easily verified from the travel history of the applicants as to whether they were in Peshawar during the time or fake health certificates and other documents were attached that are required for issuing driving licenses,” a source said.

The KP government had earlier directed the Transport Department officials to probe the issue and recommend due punishments to all those officers, officials and private touts involved that have earned a bad name for the province. However, it was criticized as to how the same department conducted an inquiry against its own officials.

In the next stage, the ACE was directed to conduct an inquiry into the irregularities including issuance of medical certificates to the applicants while being abroad. The Pakistan High Commission in Canberra, Australia, as well as the authorities in Hong Kong had sent letters for verification of driving licenses that were issued to many overseas Pakistanis in the last couple of years even in their absence.

The embassy officials were surprised as to why such a large number of people from other provinces are being issued licenses from Peshawar, Nowshera and some other cities of KP and why they don’t get it from their respective districts.

The inquiry will also check licenses issued to overseas Pakistanis in other countries as there could be many other countries where fake licenses are issued by the employees of the department through touts without following the required procedure.

Apart from the issue of licenses issued to overseas Pakistanis, a number of complaints regarding issuing different categories of licenses, permits to auto rickshaws and vans, fitness certificates to vehicles and various other irregularities also need to be probed to improve the affairs of the department including its service delivery.