KHARIAN CANTT - It is estimated that 15-20,000 people apply for passports every day which will keep the number of pending cases rising at a rate where it may become impossible to clear the backlog.

The Passport authorities are getting Rs3,000 for ordinary and Rs5,000 for urgent passport. Fifteen days' time is promised for an urgent passport and 30 days for an ordinary passport. However, urgent passports are not delivered on time while ordinary passports are delivered after three months.

This is ridiculous and unjustified. The passport authorities give the plea that they are short of passport books and hence the abnormal delay.

Apart from the sheer inconvenience to the applicants who travel from long distance, this problem will also have economic ramifications for the country as well. Many citizens of district Gujrat included Tehsil Kharian will be unable to take up jobs abroad because they won't receive their passports in time to apply for work visas.

These citizens would likely have sent valuable foreign currency back to Pakistan in the form of remittances. Not only are Pakistanis being denied their basic right to have a passport, by these inordinate delays, the government is only ending up shooting itself in the foot.