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Official cleared in passport scam

LAHORE, Jan 2: A special judicial magistrate on Wednesday granted bail to Garden Town passport office assistant director Iqbal Shahid, allegedly involved in the Afghan refugees passport scam.

The magistrate directed the accused to submit bail bonds of Rs50,000.

After the bail, Iqbal Shahid told reporters that FIA had cleared him after an investigation and the court had set him free on the report of the agency. He said the passport preparation process was transparent and Afghan nationalists did not visit the interview counter and no process was made for the preparation of fake passport to them.

He also complained that his reputation had been tarnished as he had nothing to do with the matter.

The FIA had arrested 11 Afghan nationals and an agent for trying to get Pakistani passport.

FIA passport cell deputy director Nasir Jamil told Dawn that it had written to the National Database Registration Authority to help it find the official of passport office involved in the scam. He said three officials of the passport office wanted in the case were still at large.