ISLAMABAD, Sep 23 (APP): Assuring strict action against corrupt officials and the agents operating in front of the passport offices, Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Thursday informed National Assembly that government earned Rs 9.132 billion during 2009-10 under the head of passport fee.Replying the questions during Question Hour, the minister said, “total income earned under the head of passport fee during financial year 2009-10 is Rs 9.132 billion.”He said passport against ordinary and urgent fees are issued on 12th and 5th day respectively from the date of processing of appolication and assured the House complete transparency in issuance of passports.“I have directed to stop the agents operations. If there is any complaint, please inform, I shall ensure action,” the minister said. He also informed the House about starting a toll free helpline from Friday for registering complaints regarding issuance of passports and mentioned to directions issued to keep agents 500 meters away from the passport offices across the country. He said after introduction of Machine Readable Passports, the passport fee had to be increased due to number of bimetric features in new passport. Malik said queue system has been introduced in issuance of CNIC and the passports and applications are not entertained out of turn.
Answering another question, the minister assured to sort out a mechanism to sell goods prepared by jailed women at exhibitions in different parts of the country.
The suggestion came from a member who appreciated the vocational training of jailed women but suggested to also ensure selling their goods at certain points to generate revenue for them.
About extradition of jailed foreign women, Malik said, those who committed offense in our country and were indicted, will have to spend their sentence period in jails. “We cannot extradite them. A criminal is a criminal and
have to undergo judicial process. However, once their sentence period in completed, we either handover them to their respective missions or ourselves buy tickets for them to send them to their countries.”
However, he added, only those criminals are extradited who commit a crime in their countries and hide in our country. “Here again we extradite those criminals with whose countries we have extradition treaty. Those who commit crime on our land, have to undergo the judicial process.” He also mentioned to Deredicalization Program in jails and said, jailed women are imparted teachings of the Holy Quran as well as other education to imporve them morally to avoid crimes in future.
To another question about setting up passport office in Qila Saifullah in Balochistan province, he informed the member, he will listen a good news within four to six weeks. In reply to another question, Advisor to the Prime Minister, Nawabzada Ghazanfar Gul informed the House that foreign investment remained low due to law and order situation in the country.
“Even then, the investment has been more than US$ two billion. War against terrorism and law and order situation hampered more foreign direct investment pouring in,” he said. “If the situation shall not imporve, how the investors could be attracted. War on terror is the biggest hurdle on way to investment,” he added – App