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Passport Office needs regular DG: officials
Posted by :Team Aman newsPosted date : August 18, 2017In SPORTSComments Off on Passport Office needs regular DG: officials
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal. PHOTO: Reuters
ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal is facing a major challenge at the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports (DGIP), commonly known as the Passport Office, that needs the appointment of a ‘regular’ director general, The Express Tribune learnt on good authority on Wednesday.
Usman Akhtar Bajwa, the incumbent DG Passport Office, is undergoing an official training at the National Defence University (NDU) because of which his presence is highly limited, and the absence of the DG is affecting the Passport Office’s performance.
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Sources in the Interior ministry said that Bajwa was granted ‘special’ permission by the Interior Ministry to be continue as the DG Passport Office during the training period.
Normally, officers on training are sent on leave till the training is complete.
Extended absence of Bajwa, who is a BPS 20 officer and undergoing a 10-month-long mandatory training for promotion from BPs 20 to 21, implies that an alternate arrangement needs to be made to manage the directorate general’s working.
Under present circumstances, the DG is said to visit the office daily after 3pm. As a result, work at the Passport Office is said to be severely compromised and several crucial issues needing urgent attention are being ignored because of the DG’s unavailability.
“Official working hours are between 8am and 4 pm and the work cannot be squeezed in just an hour – between 3pm and 4 pm,” sources said.
“The office needs a full-time DG. The affairs of such sensitive office cannot be run on temporary or makeshift basis,” an insider said.
In addition, the post of the DG Passport Office was a BS 20 position in the past before it was upgraded to BPS 21 in 2013 when Zulfiqar Cheema was appointed as the DG Passport Office.
However, Bajwa is a BPS 20 officer.
“This means that at the time of his appointment, the officer concerned was not fit for the post. Such important appointments need to be merit-based,” sources maintained, adding that the situation required the attention of the Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal.
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The spokesman of the Interior Ministry said that the DG Passport has retained his charge because he is undergoing training at the NDU. He said the DG attended office for an hour and a half daily and “discharged his responsibilities effectively”.
According to the spokesman, these arrangements were not affecting the performance of his office and rules and regulations allowed any official of grade 20 to be appointed on a grade 21 post.