Ombudsman wants E-gate immigration facility for overseas Pakistanis

The Federal Ombudsman Secretariat has asked the agencies concerned to start work on providing Electronic-gate (E-gate) immigration process at departure and arrival counters of major airports to ensure quick immigration process for passengers.

“The basic requirement before providing the E-gate facility is Machine Readable Passports and Smart National Identity Cards. Now most of the overseas Pakistanis have MRPs. Once introduced this facility will help cut waiting time of passengers as they can go through E-gate by swiping their documents,” Grievance Commissioner of Federal Ombudsman Hafiz Ahsaan Khokhar told APP here Sunday. 

During his discussions with stakeholders in a recent meeting at Karachi Airport, Kokhar said he came to know that the installation of E-gate immigration process at departure and arrival immigration counters was necessary to reduce the congestion and inconvenience to the passengers. It would also bring Pakistani airports at par with international standards.

He said the Federal Ombudsman had taken special initiative for Overseas Pakistanis and established Grievance Commissioner Cell for Overseas Pakistanis with the objectives to resolve their individual and collective problems. “Needless to mention that E-gate process facilitate the Pakistani Residents (PR) holding Machine Readable Passport, NICOP, Smart Card CNIC (Computerised National Identity Card) and can pass through the E-Gate facility by just swapping the documents.

The facility is very effectively working in Gulf Co-operation Council and other countries,” he said. Khokhar said the trial run of E-gate facility was provided out at Jinnah International Airport Karachi by National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) in 2003-04 and a kiosk was also placed in International Arrival area. However, due to less number of Machine Readable documents then, this project was shelved.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2015


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