RAWALPINDI: Realising indiscipline and discourteous attitude of its immigration staff members at Islamabad International Airport (IIA), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has issued directives for strict implementation.

FIA Deputy Director (immigration) Sajid Hussain Khokhar in a circular directed the staffers to put on proper and clean uniform.

“Both the assistant directors shall put on lounge suits during their working hours.”

He said all passengers shall be greeted with phrases like ‘Assalaamu Alaikum’, ‘good morning’ and ‘good evening’ (as the case may be). “Once the passengers fulfil legal formalities, they should be greeted with the phrase ‘Thank you’ or ‘Shukriya’.

In no case whatsoever there should be any misbehaviour with the passengers. He also directed the staff to present chocolates or sweets to the passengers on their arrival as a goodwill gesture.

FIA deputy director directs officials to greet passengers and present them chocolates

In case of dubious travelling documents, doubtful conduct of the passenger or passenger’s misbehaviour, the immigration staff should only exercise their lawful and legal powers.

“Any misbehaviour with the passengers shall not be allowed at any cost and strict disciplinary proceedings will be initiated against the delinquent officers,” the deputy director said.

He warned that any violation of the directives would be considered as a violation of orders pertaining to maintenance of discipline in the office.

In addition, CCTV cameras have been installed inside the lock-up, offices of the assistant directors and even in the restroom of the immigration staff to keep check on their activities.

When contacted, Mr Khokhar told Dawn that to end the VIP culture he had directed the immigration staff to make only one queue instead of zig-zag queues. However, the immigration process of diplomats and ambassadors will be carried out at separate counters.

He said he had written a letter to the Saudi embassy about their laws regarding underage people going for Umrah. Since the introduction of the e-paper visa system, the immigration staff members have been facing problems in identifying Mehram’s name on the visa paper.

Therefore, the FIA has requested the Saudi embassy to elaborate about their rules whether they should be allowed or offloaded.

The official said these measures were being taken to change the attitude of the immigration staff towards the air travelers.

He said since he assumed the charge at the airport, no incident of misbehaviour with passengers has come to light.

Published in Dawn, December 23rd, 2019

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