A shortage of dollars in the country has resulted in a prolonged wait for passport issuance for an estimated 730,000 Pakistanis, both within the country and abroad. This delay also affected the payment to the contracted French company responsible for providing lamination papers.
In response to this pressing issue, authorities have taken decisive action and have placed an order for an additional 2 million lamination papers with the French company. On Friday, the passport office received lamination papers sufficient for 1 million passports.
The production process for the pending passports commenced today, with the capacity to process between 22,000 to 30,000 passports daily. Projections indicate that the backlog of over 700,000 passports will be cleared within the next four weeks. Pakistan expects to receive an additional one million lamination papers crucial for expediting passport issuance by the end of November, with an additional million lamination papers anticipated to arrive in December.
To ensure a swift and comprehensive resolution to the passport printing issue, arrangements have been made to facilitate payment for an additional two million lamination papers to the French company.
Despite Pakistan’s passport being rated among the lowest-performing in the world according to the Henley Passport Index, it remains a necessity for travel abroad. Currently, hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis are applying for passports, driven by the pursuit of better employment opportunities overseas.
This substantial exodus of Pakistani citizens has prompted authorities to explore ways to enhance the country’s economy and prevent a potential brain drain, which could have adverse consequences in the years to come. Students, entrepreneurs, businessmen, engineers, doctors, and individuals from various professions are actively seeking employment opportunities abroad to secure their future prospects.