Saudi authorities recover 12,000 Pakistani passports from Afghan nationals

Sources say Saudi authorities have informed Pakistani embassy in Riyadh about recovery of the passports

By
Azaz Syed
The first-ever passport applied through Inland Online Application. — X/@DGIPofficial
The first-ever passport applied through Inland Online Application. — X/@DGIPofficial

  • Riyadh informs Pakistani embassy about recovery of the passports. 
  • Main suspect arrested in Lahore for making fake passports.
  • Pakistani envoy in Saudi Arabia refuses to speak on the issue.


ISLAMABAD: Authorities in Saudi Arabia have recovered 12,000 Pakistani passports from Afghan nationals, it emerged on Thursday.

The development comes as law enforcement agencies launch a crackdown on unscrupulous elements involved in issuing fake citizenship documents to illegal migrants in the country, especially Afghans. 

Sources told Geo News that the Saudi authorities have informed the Pakistani embassy in Riyadh of recovering a large number of Pakistani passports from Afghan citizens.

Director General Immigration and Passports Directorate Mustafa Kazi and the Federal Investigation Agency have started an investigation in this regard. 

As a result of the investigations, the main suspect Umar Javed has been arrested in Lahore for making fake passports.

Javed’s arrest came after a former officer and a serving grade-15 officer of the Passport Directorate were arrested and probed. The sources said that the Pakistani passports were issued to Afghan citizens on fake identity cards.

They added that Kazi, who recently took charge of his post, was working with FIA officials to crack down on the individuals involved in making fake passports.

Pakistani envoy in Saudi Arabia was reached out for a comment but he refused to speak on the issue.

On the other hand, an interior ministry official, on condition of anonymity, said that the Passports Directorate was aware of its responsibilities and a thorough investigation into the matter was under way; besides, the Nadra data was also being counterchecked.

Nadra staff involved in issuance of fake CNICs

On Wednesday, National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) Chairman Lieutenant General Munir Afsar informed senators that some of his organisation’s staff were involved in the issuance of fake Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs).

The Nadra chief made the revelation while addressing the Senate Committee on Interior when it took up the issue of fake CNICs, availability of citizens’ family data in the black market and issuance of multiple SIMs on a single CNIC, which are being used in illegal activities.

The Nadra chairman informed the lawmakers that action was taken against the employees engaged in any form of illegal activity, with around 84 officials suspended, so far.

“However, employees escape punishment due to the absence of a law dealing with privacy matters,” he told the committee. 

The Senate panel recommended modern measures to address these issues.