Dawn News

Tout menace at Karachi passport office

THE claim by the Passport Office, Karachi, that corruption has been eradicated with the introduction of computerised system is negated by the fact that touts are there in the premises and they charge Rs300 to Rs700 for passport processing and final delivery, depending on the task. To begin with, the hurdle in the payment of the fee at the National Bank branch at the passport office in connivance with passport officials is that the bank refuses to accept the payment of challan at any other branch on grounds that they do not receive information of payment in this age of the Internet.

So they insist that payment must be made in their branch only where it takes almost an hour or two for payment alone.

However, if you are ready to pay Rs300 per passport, the broker would get it done in a few minutes.  The concept of senior citizens’ line is only up to the window plate for senior citizens. There is no separate line for young and healthy persons. As a consequence, senior citizens -- limping, panting -- are pushed aside.

I am 78-year-old and took two-and-a-half hours to get my turn with the photo and token after fighting with the staff. My request to the director of passports is to first remove the senior citizens’ or else stop the entry of applicants below 65 years and their touts.

Secondly, the National Bank of Pakistan staff be directed to accept the challan paid at other branches of the NBP to save the agony and time for standing in long queues.

Thirdly, stop the menace of touts. No touts should be allowed in the processing hall.


Comments (5) Closed

May 16, 2012 03:29pm
Aoa, Dear Mr. Ahmed, thank you for your bold step to write in the national newspaper, I tried myself few years back but had no luck, I was agonized by a Pakistani Consulate in Canada, which made my life misrable for few days and didn't let me exit Pakistan on my original Pakistani passport due to their unprofessional work. All we can do is pray to Allah to send Honest and Hardworking Rulers who could purify this whole chain of filth and dishonesty from top to bottom, Ameen. Raza.
May 16, 2012 03:22am
I feel sorry, nauseated and find myself short of words, to express my feelings for a senior citizen, applying for a very important and in most cases a necessary document. How could this and other criminal cruelness exercised by your very own fellow citizen be stopped. If the culture of nepotism, corruption and royalty is stopped at the very top of leadership hierarchy, maybe these realities could be changed to myths. Sorry Mr Ahmed, I am really sorry.
May 16, 2012 05:44pm
I would like to categorically state that the Consulate in Toronto is extremely helpful and professional. My family and I recently had our passports renewed and also had our NICOP made. The staff here was extremely courteous and professional.
Yemeen Zuberi
May 16, 2012 08:17pm
There is bribe, and there are touts only because the customers have to visit the passport office in person. The customers must be asked to send their passport applications through mail. They may be required to send a self addressed envelope with stamps on it so that the processed passport can be returned. Motor license offices need reforms, too.
May 17, 2012 12:40am
While we are at this topic, can tv someone in TV media please take notice and create entertainment fill education programs to teach Pakistanis how to behave in public, stand in lines, not to smoke in public, not to stare, not to pee in public, not to spit, no fingers in nose in public?????? I was there in Pak and hated every second of it even though I did the same when I lived there as a youngster!