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Capital gets one-window ‘executive’ passport office

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ISLAMABAD: If waiting in line for hours on end to have your passport made is not something that you are keen on, then there is good news for you.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Monday inaugurated the capital’s first ‘executive’ passport office where the public can ‘skip’ those long queues  – provided they are ready to pay that much extra for their ease.

Located on Fazal-e-Haq Road, opposite Polyclinic Hospital, adjacent to a NADRA office, the new executive passport office would offer a one-window facility and promises speedy delivery of the passports.

Though, to avail this service, a customer would have to pay Rs3,000 extra.

Hence, while a five-year passport under the normal delivery programme at a regular passport office would cost you Rs3,000, at the executive centre it would set you back Rs6,000. Similarly, a passport under the urgent scheme would cost Rs8,000.

According to an official at the new passport centre, though, the public can expect to receive their passports a little earlier than when they would apply at a regular passport office. Moreover, customers can also choose to have their passports delivered to their homes instead of ensuring their presence along with their respective tokens at the pick up centres to receive their new passports.

However, they would have to pay extra for delivery.

After inaugurating the office and responding to questions about the high fees, Nisar responded that he had directed the concerned officials to review the rates prescribed for services at the executive office.

Meanwhile, the interior minister said that the new facility was part of an expansion drive by the National Database Regulatory Authority (NADRA) and passport directorate which would be extended to other cities soon.

“We are going to open more such facilities and mega NADRA offices in Karachi, Lahore and other cities in the coming weeks,” Nisar said, adding that they planned to open a total of 14 executive passport offices and six mega NADRA offices.

Last year, Nisar had opened a similar facility in Rawalpindi.

“We had set a very ambitious target of setting up a passport office in every district of the country, and we are on course to achieve this target by the end of March this year,” he said, adding that, “The objective is to facilitate the public.”

“In 69 years since the country’s creation, 92 passport offices were established, but we have set up 74 new passport offices in the past year and a quarter,” Nisar said.

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