Pakistan is grappling with a shortage of lamination paper, crucial for passport production and imported from France, leading to a nationwide crisis in passport availability, reports the Express Tribune. Students, business owners, and travelers requiring passports for overseas ventures find themselves stranded. The caretaker government has yet to present a solution, causing frustration among Pakistanis who feel the repercussions of government inefficiency.
Express Tribune interviews reveal the human impact: a potential job opportunity lost in Dubai, a student unable to commence classes in Italy, and many others facing disruptions. The Directorate General of Immigration and Passports (DG I&P) struggles to process a mere 12 to 13 passports daily, a drastic drop from the previous 3,000 to 4,000 passports processed per day. This predicament echoes a similar crisis in 2013 when passport printing ceased due to financial issues and a shortage of lamination papers.
Despite assurances from the interior ministry, stating the situation will soon be under control, affected individuals express skepticism, citing delayed applications and a lack of transparency in the resolution timeline. The uncertainty lingers, with officials suggesting a potential wait of another month or two for the backlog to clear.