ISLAMABAD: Taking a serious notice of the alleged issuance of over 12,000 fake passports to Afghan nationals, the interior ministry has constituted a five-member committee to carry out a thorough probe into the matter.

According to a notification issued by the ministry, a copy of which is available with Dawn, the Director General of Immigration and Passports (Impass) will be the convener, while FIA deputy secretary, a representative of Nadra and assistant director of IMPASS headquarters will be its members.

The committee will ascertain the lapses in the issuance of passports, determining the connivance of various institutions to facilitate the departure of fake passport holders from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia, to determine the responsibility of various officers in Nadra, IMPASS and FIA in the process and suggest remedial measures to curb the menace in future.

The panel has been asked to submit a report to the competent authority within 15 days.

A senior official of the interior ministry when contacted said nobody found to be involved in the issuance of fake passports will be spared.

The notification issued on Sunday came days after the recovery of over 12,000 fake Pakistani passports from Afghan nationals in Saudi Arabia. The government has earlier set Nov 1 deadline for all foreigners residing illegally in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2023

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