THIS is with reference to a news item regarding passport issues (March 27).

I submitted an application for passport renewal on Jan 31 and would like to share my experience at the Passport Office, Garden Town, Lahore.

I was greeted by a lot of agents. I was informed that I had no choice but to apply for an urgent passport as the people who had applied on routine priority did not receive passports even after six months.

After haggling with one agent I agreed to pay Rs1,200 just to get inside the hall. By paying this amount I, along with hundreds of other people, was able to save one extra day in the passport office.

I noted that approximately 1,000 people applied for passport renewal every day, so the business of agents was flourishing. The agents were openly saying that they had to pay 80 per cent of the amount received from us to the officials in the Passport Office.

By 2pm we reached another hurdle which was the last step in the process. The staff which was supposed to be verifying did not come to their seats until the crowd started getting angry and proceeded towards the director’s office.

I asked a few agents and they told me to spend Rs500 more for the hurdle and I could save time.

Most of my companions gave the amount and were cleared within minutes. By the time the staff came back to their seats, it was 5pm and almost pack-up time. Only the first 400 people were called and the rest were told to come the next day.

I was asked to collect my passport on Feb 15 but have still not received it. I repeatedly visited the Passport Office but there was no sign of the passport being delivered to me. Then I contacted the agents and they have informed me that I could get my passport in a week’s time if I paid another Rs10,000.

My only intention in sharing this miserable experience is to raise voice against this corruption which is being practised publicly and without fear. When and how will we wake up?

RIZWAN RASHID Lahore

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Comments (24)

Junaid
April 6, 2013 5:21 am
Much as we hate Mushi for destabilizing democracy etc etc, he had put into place a well oiled NADRA body that issued passports in a timely manner. Agents work was all but eliminated. I recall making my passport in 2006 and my mothers in 2007 in Karachi Saddar office and receiving my nephew's from Awami Markaz in 2009. It was smooth sailing. We can thank the democractically led PPP and PML(N) for these gifts of corruption.
Asad Ali
April 6, 2013 5:52 am
You want to raise voice against curroption of which you were part of by paying extra money
Sadaqat Ali
April 6, 2013 6:38 am
Corruption has become part of our daily working, no office work is done without offering bribe. This corruption intrudes in system due to political intrusion in departments. All politicians which are part of govt want their share in corruption and provide shelter to corrupt beaurrocracy.
Ali
April 6, 2013 6:44 am
And we are still expected to say Pakistan zindabad.
Dr. Mazhar
April 6, 2013 9:08 am
Musharrraf Governement had made a well organized system for passport and ID cards, where for the first time in history of country, anyone could apply with respect without paying bribery. This PPP government has ruined everything. I wonder why people forget everything good that musharraf did for the country.
ali ahmed
April 6, 2013 9:28 am
how can you raise voice against this corruption ..Mr Rizwan..when you are part of the system
Khan
April 6, 2013 9:51 am
All because of our votes. Let's try Imran khan. And also we request the CJP to interfere and punish the concerned authorities. I don't know when will Pakistani leaders and officers come on track. May ALLAH save our Pakistan and make it Qaid-e- Azam Pakistan.
Gerry D'Cunha
April 6, 2013 9:55 am
make hay while the sun shine - this the motto of all our top to bottom govt officials - how can the poor citizen of pakistan get their work done in time - in UK the form and expired passort is sent by post and one gets the new passort within 10 working days - no hassle bassle
MUHAMMAD JAMAL AYUB
April 6, 2013 10:38 am
We live in fool paradise.Nothing is going to be better.Love democracy and die in hypertension seeing what is happening around you in Pakistan.May be 2-3 million people have been affected by this scam, but everybody is sleeping including our CJ.
Raj
April 6, 2013 12:04 pm
In India also there use to be so many such agents who were doing brisk business. However, now they have to look elsewhere because, now everything is online and the passport application is online and the appointment for verification is online and you can fix up the appointment online without visiting the passport office and on that day, you need to be there and within one or two hours, your wordk will be over and you will get the passport in a weeks time if it is renewal and in two weeks time if it is first time, But literally no agents working at passport offices.
saqib
April 6, 2013 12:15 pm
I agree with ali ahmed , clearly he has paid money to get ahead in the Que. The officials were not on seat because they have to deal with people who has paid money other wise their business will be affected. They have to make it hard for the crowd and much smoother for the peoples like Rizwan to keep their business flourishing.
saqib
April 6, 2013 12:17 pm
Still better then some other countries I visited. We need a little more effort to beat those nations to keep us competent in Corruption.
saqib
April 6, 2013 12:19 pm
Unfortunately IK can not change peoples and it is the peoples (inner core) we are talking about.
Gerry D'Cunha
April 6, 2013 3:31 pm
ali: pakistan ko barbad kar dia and with what face we can say pakistan zindabad - pakistan ka khuda hafaz we can say now.
Abdul Malik
April 6, 2013 5:54 pm
In Canada as well, expired or even nearing the expiry date passport, along with application form, photo and the relevant fee, is sent via Canada Post or Courier, and within 10 business days new passport is delivered to your door step. Shame on the government of Pakistan and the corrupt officials that even after taking bribes they don't deliver. Talk about Islam, Namaz, rejecting Ayaz Amir's papers by ECP alleging that he wrote against the idealogy of Islam. What a joke !
Feroz sethi
April 6, 2013 7:56 pm
I have relatives in India. I recently witnessed them renewing passports. They have a nice online system for this.pakstan should have something similar
Hassan Zia ul
April 6, 2013 8:43 pm
We are doing best to achieve first numer croupet nations in world
Thingamee
April 6, 2013 11:23 pm
Why are so many people seeking passports? Surely you don't want to leave the Islamic paradise that you live in? Where else could you have such pleasures as your religion being stamped in your passport, the election officials asking for the rote production of religious texts? So please continue to enjoy this religious life and may Allah bless you all.
wahid
April 6, 2013 11:31 pm
In fact it takes more like 5 days .My source states that it is delivered with in 5 working days!!!
razakas@yahoo.com
April 7, 2013 1:52 am
It is like telling chicken why did you become chicken. I have eat you now? Boss he wants passport. He cannot even get in the office without paying bribe. Is it his mistake? You create such a system and the blame it the common people who does not have any say. Your question is not fair one.
Babar Haq
April 7, 2013 6:26 am
Weird, been to islamabad passport recently. Though it has multiple problems but didnt witness a single "agent" there.
Ali
April 7, 2013 9:39 am
Unfair it was Musharraf who imposed An army general as head of passports and he laid the foundation of this mess
Gerry D'Cunha
April 7, 2013 10:22 am
wahid: it doesn't matter 5 days or 10 days delivery without hassle - however the guide on the passport form says 10 working days - 100 times better than the services pakistanis get in their country and their embassy abroad.
Oz
April 7, 2013 6:35 pm
Buss karo bhai, Iss per kiyon nazla utaar rahay hoo ?? Himmat hay toh jaa kar Passport Office walon ko nikala bahar or sue them in court... passing comments on peoples misery is easy.
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