Paper shortage halts passport processing in Pakistan, affecting thousands of applicants

Passport processing delay

WEB DESK: In a significant setback, Pakistan is grappling with a backlog of 700,000 unprinted passports due to a severe shortage of lamination paper.

The crisis has resulted in the suspension of new passport issuances for more than a week now, causing distress among citizens eagerly awaiting their travel documents.

Officials from the Passport and Immigration Department revealed that the delay was a direct consequence of Pakistan not having received its expected shipment of lamination paper.

The anticipated delivery of this essential material is scheduled for Friday, offering a glimmer of hope for resolution.

According to ARY News, in response to this backlog, passport printing operations will continue even during the weekend, specifically on Saturday and Sunday.

This move aims to alleviate the burden on citizens by accelerating the passport processing procedure.

The impact of this suspension has been keenly felt, especially by those individuals preparing for international travel. Recognising the gravity of the situation, the caretaker Interior Minister, Sarfraz Bugti, intervened.

He engaged with officials, emphasising the urgency of ensuring the timely printing and distribution of passports to avoid further inconvenience to the public.

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Additionally, the passport department has adjusted its official delivery schedules in light of these challenges. For regular passport applications, the extended delivery time has been set at a maximum of 21 working days, a significant increase from the previous 10-day timeframe.

This modification reflects the department’s efforts to manage the situation effectively and keep citizens informed about the revised timelines.

As the nation eagerly awaits the arrival of the crucial lamination paper shipment, efforts are underway to expedite the printing process and clear the mounting backlog.

The government remains committed to resolving this issue promptly and minimising disruptions for the citizens awaiting their passports.


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