ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A total of 47,036,318 persons possess the passports in the Country at present, the Minister for Interior Ijaz Ahmad Shah told the National Assembly.
In a written reply submitted in the House on Friday while responding to a question by the Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) lawmaker Shamim Ara Panhwar, the interior minister told that out of them, 46,705,264 persons hold ordinary passports, 6,496 persons hold diplomatic passports while 324,558 persons have official passports.
The number of ordinary/diplomatic and blue passports holders is given below:
- Ordinary 46,705,264
- Diplomatic 6,496
- Official 324,558
When asked by Pakistan Muslim league-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Shaista Pervaiz about security measures placed to safeguard national security as the government has allowed passport-free arrival of the Indian Citizens in Kartarpur, Ijaz Shah replied that no passport-free entry is currently being allowed to Indian pilgrims in Kartarpur Sahib Corridor as per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Pakistan and India.
The interior minister told that the proposal of giving a concession of entry without a passport, in order to attract more visitors, is under consideration, for which detailed input may be sought from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He told that as per the existing procedure, pilgrims can visit the Corridor from dawn to dusk after producing the Indian passport or Oversees Citizen of Indian Origin Card along with the passport of resident Country. He added that the same are punched by the Immigration staff at the border terminal against the data provided by the Indian authorities 10 days in advance.
In addition, he told that the movement of Indian visitors is monitored/regulated from the border till Gurdwara Complex and back through the combination of the physical and electronic security systems by Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) along with other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs). He said that the Indian visitors are strictly kept inside the confines of the Gurdwara Complex by ensuring their movement through biometric systems/ turnstile gates and to avoid their exit toward the Pakistan side. Moreover, all the activities in and around the Corridor are monitored through surveillance cameras from the Control Room.