ISLAMABAD, May 26: The government decided on Saturday to open Nadra and passport offices in another 30 countries in the next six months to facilitate overseas Pakistanis.

The decision was taken at a meeting presided over by Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

The interior secretary, the director general, passports, Nadra’s deputy chairman, chief commissioner of Islamabad, the director general of National Crisis Management Cell and other officials attended the meeting.

The minister directed the officials concerned to take every possible step to solve the problems of overseas Pakistanis related to Nadra and passports.

He said 86 foreign missions of Pakistan did not have Nadra and passport offices. Passport offices in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Greece, the Netherlands and New Zealand would be opened within two months and passport offices would be set up in Bradford, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow by the end of next month.

The overseas Pakistanis would also have the facility of machine-readable passports at these offices, he added. Mr Malik said he had ordered immediate posting of staff in Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Canberra, Damascus and Madrid where the system to issue machine-readable passports had already been installed. An additional Nadra counter at the Pakistan’s High Commission in London would be established, he said.

He said Nadra and passport offices would also be set up in five states of the United Arab Emirates.

The minister said that passport staff would be doubled in Jeddah and Riyadh and a new passport office would be established in Dammam. The Saudi government had allowed Pakistani citizens to travel on manual passports till 2015, he added.

He said instructions had been issued to restore the facility of Pakistan origin card for the wives of overseas Pakistanis.

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