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Saudi Arabia hands over 12,000 fake Pakistani passports to embassy

Courtesy: Geo News

  • Committee formed to probe recovery of passports from Afghans. 
  • Body given 15 days to make suggestions on preventing problem. 
  • It will also fix responsibility on govt officers involved in scam.

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has handed over 12,000 Pakistani passports that were being used by Afghan nationals to the embassy as the government launched a probe into the allegations of issuance of identity cards and passports to illegal migrants, reported The News.

A committee has been formed to investigate the recovery of fake Pakistani passports from 12,000 Afghans in Saudi Arabia.

According to sources, the Interior Ministry has formed a five-member committee under the chairmanship of Passport and Immigration Directorate Director General Mustafa Jamal Kazi.

The panel includes senior officers of the ministry, the National Database & Registration Authority (Nadra) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). An officer of the directorate will perform the duties of secretary for the committee.

The probe body has been given 15 days to make suggestions on how to prevent the problem in the future. It will also fix responsibility on Nadra, FIA and passport officers involved in the scam.

Last week, authorities in Saudi Arabia recovered 12,000 Pakistani passports from Afghan nationals.

The development came as law enforcement agencies launch a crackdown on unscrupulous elements involved in issuing fake citizenship documents to illegal migrants in the country, especially Afghans.

Sources had told Geo News that the Saudi authorities had informed the Pakistani embassy of recovering a large number of Pakistani passports from Afghan citizens.

Back then it was reported that as a result of the investigations, the main suspect Umar Javed had been arrested in Lahore for making fake passports.

Javed’s arrest came after a former officer and a serving grade-15 officer of the Passport Directorate were arrested and probed. The sources said that the Pakistani passports were issued to Afghan citizens on fake identity cards.

Nadra staff involved in issuance of fake CNICs

The same week, Nadra Chairman Lieutenant General Munir Afsar informed senators that some of his organisation’s staff were involved in the issuance of fake Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs).

The Nadra chief made the revelation while addressing the Senate Committee on Interior when it took up the issue of fake CNICs, availability of citizens’ family data in the black market and issuance of multiple SIMs on a single CNIC, which are being used in illegal activities.

The Nadra chairman informed the lawmakers that action was taken against the employees engaged in any form of illegal activity, with around 84 officials suspended, so far.

“However, employees escape punishment due to the absence of a law dealing with privacy matters,” he told the committee.

The Senate panel recommended modern measures to address these issues.

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