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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior on Wednesday voiced concerns over the delay in the issuance of e-passport and directed the Immigration and Passport Office to address the hurdles.

The committee, which met with Malik Ahmad Hussain Deharr in the chair, deferred discussion on various bills on the agenda till its next meeting.

However, the agenda with regard to the briefing on the performance, general overview from each Wing/Department of the ministry was taken up.

Secretary Interior Yousaf Naseem Khokhar and senior officers of the ministry and its attached departments gave detailed briefings to the panel on performance, achievements, issues and challenges and way forward to resolve the problems. These include the Capital Development Authority (CDA), National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), National Database Registration Authority (NADRA), and Immigration and Passport office.

While taking the agenda item about CDA, the committee expressed displeasure over non-preparation/revising of 1960’s Old Master Plan of Islamabad by the CDA. Taking notice, the panel issued directions for preparation of a new master plan as soon as possible.

The committee also expressed its concern over the delay in the completion of various development projects in the federal capital and issued the directions to the ICT administration and the CDA for early completion of the under-construction projects, particularly Bara Kahu bypass project in the best public interest.

While taking up the agenda item on the NACTA, the committee voiced concern over the non-filling of vacant posts in the Authority and also issued directives for filling the vacant position as early as possible on merit.

The committee particularly expressed concern over the delay in the issuance of e-passport, and also issued directions to the Immigration and Passport Office for addressing the hurdles in the issuance of e-passports to the citizens. The panel also asked Immigration and Passport Office to revert on the matter to the committee within three months.

After taking the briefing, the committee decided that another meeting will be called in which the ministry and its attached departments, including the FIA, Immigration and Passport Office, and the NADRA will once again be called for giving detailed presentations.

The meeting was attended by Malik Sohail Khan, Rana Shamim Ahmed Khan, Nadeem Abbas, Syed Agha Rafiullah, Sajid Mehdi, Usma Qadri, Syed Samiul Hassan Gillani, and senior officers from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Law and Justice, the ICT Administration and CDA, NACTA, the NADRA, and the Immigration and Passport Office.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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