ISLMABAD: Pakistani citizens are encountering difficulties securing their passports due to a shortage of lamination paper in the country, according to a report by The Express Tribune.
The lamination paper, a crucial component in passport production, is typically imported from France, as mentioned by Pakistan’s Directorate General of Immigration & Passports (DGI&P). This shortage has resulted in a nationwide scarcity of passports, causing distress among individuals with aspirations of studying abroad or relocating.
Many students who had enrolled in universities in the UK or Italy found themselves unable to travel as they did not receive their passports on time. They expressed frustration, citing the unfair burden placed on them due to the inefficiency of a government department.
Qadir Yar Tiwana, the Director General for Media of the Ministry of Interior, assured that the Pakistani government is actively addressing the crisis, emphasizing that the situation will soon be rectified. However, public skepticism prevails, given the ongoing challenges in obtaining travel documents.
Regional passport offices confirmed a significant reduction in daily passport processing, dropping from 3,000 to 4,000 passports per day to 12 to 13. This uncertainty has left numerous applicants in a state of limbo.
The current situation echoes a previous incident in 2013 when passport printing in Pakistan came to a halt due to financial issues and a shortage of lamination papers at the DGI&P.