Interior Ministry okays foreign postings of 30 Immigration & Passport officials

ISLAMABAD: In total negation of its own policy, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has approved foreign postings of some 30 non-technical officials of the Immigration and Passport (I&P) directorate on technical positions.

Sources said that MoI, on the recommendations of the I&P directorate, recommended 14 assistant directors (ADs), 12 deputy assistant directors (DADs), three superintendents and one assistant private secretary (APS) for foreign postings. However, the I&P directorate seemingly neglected the technical staff, who would be better equipped to deal with the technical issues of oversea Pakistanis.

Moreover, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad had previously directed I&P to call back all those officials who have been working in missions abroad for more than three years.

Subsequently, the I&P director general (DG) in February had transferred 24 officials, including data entry operator, superintendent, deputy assistant directors, assistant director, system incharge, system administrator, technical officer, hardware specialist and hardware engineer back to Pakistan.

However, around 17 officials are still serving in different countries despite ending of their tenures. These included Hardware Engineers Muhammad Kamran, Muhammad Amin, Baqir Raza, Zukhruf Azam, Tahir Mahmood, Zahid Naeem, Salman Akbar, Farhan Shahzad and Irfan Hafeez; System Administrator Haroon Jamil; Network Engineers Siddiq Akbar, Noman Shahzad Mir, Muhammad Imran, Fazal Mahmood and Abdul Rasheed; Printing Staff Muhammad Arshad; System Incharge Tariq Gardezi and Mohtashim Mohiyuddin; Technical Officer Jawad Zia; System Incharge Zeeshan Ullah Khan; Printing System Incharge Shakeel Saeed.

Moreover, the above staff has faced problems such as non-issuance of family visas and delays in funding, despite the fact the passport office is collecting Rs450 million in fees on a daily basis.

Certain actions of the directorate have led to speculation that it is playing favourites in its appointments. For instance, Farukh Ahmad was appointed to Oslo, Norway on deputation, whereas the policy states no deputationist shall be considered for posting abroad.

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