ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to extend the validity of the passports of overseas Pakistanis for one year and has directed the Interior Division to facilitate Pakistani nationals ostensibly in view of the travel restrictions being imposed by countries due to the coronavirus pandemic.
During the federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday, Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari requested the prime minister’s intervention to resolve the difficulties being faced by Pakistani workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Dr Mazari, while referring to the long queues in front of the Pakistan’s embassy in Dubai, said that the Interior Division should extend the validity of their passports and National Identity Cards for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) because otherwise they would be deported by the host government.
Taking notice of the issue, PM Imran said that overseas Pakistanis are country’s precious assets as they make valuable contributions to the national economy through remittances. He informed the cabinet that in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions being imposed by the countries, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources Development Sayed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari had already been tasked to facilitate the workers and prisoners stranded in various countries.
The PM also sought a briefing pertaining to the status of stranded workers and prisoners and the facilities being extended to overseas Pakistanis in the next meeting.