Another embarrassment for Pakistan; lamination paper shortage delays passport process
Pakistan is facing an acute shortage of lamination papers and therefore the country is unable to issue passports to its citizens, especially students. The paper shortage has led to a nationwide scarcity of passports.
In yet another embarrassment for Pakistan, the country is now facing difficulty in issuing passports to citizens due to a scarcity of lamination paper. Media reports from Pakistan referenced cases where students were experiencing unusual delays in getting their passports in the face of approaching international admissions deadlines. There appears to be no end in sight to the plight of thousands of Pakistanis who want a passport in order to travel outside for employment, study, or enjoyment.
As reported by Express Tribune citing Pakistan's Directorate General of Immigration & Passports (DGI&P), the lamination paper is an essential component in passports and is usually imported from France. The paper shortage has led to a nationwide scarcity of passports.
"I was all set to move to Dubai for work soon. My family and I were beyond ecstatic that our fortunes would finally change but the mismanagement of the Directorate General of Immigration & Passports (DGI&P) seems to have cost me my golden ticket out of poverty and this country," an individual who went by the last name Gul, was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.
Such inefficiencies in passport issuance for Pakistani nationals have also been observed in the past. The Express Tribune stated that DGI&P's debt to printers and a scarcity of lamination sheets caused passport printing to halt in 2013.
Previously, the passport office in Peshawar could process 3,000–4,000 passports every day, but a senior officer told The Express Tribune that they could only process 12–13 passports per day at this time.
Meanwhile, Pakistani government sources indicate that the crisis will be resolved as soon as possible. Qadir Yar Tiwana, Director General, Media Department, Ministry of Home Affairs said that the government is trying to resolve the crisis as soon as possible. He expressed hope that the situation would be brought under control and passport distribution would be restored as usual.