Pakistan

TORONTO – Gross mismanagement and criminal negligence displayed by the Pakistan Embassy in Canada have put the 500,000 strong Pakistani diaspora in the lurch as they do not know who to contact for passport-related issues.

The story of a family of a renowned businessman living in Toronto and a Canadian of Pakistani-origin Ghous Dar is a case in point. They faced the worst humiliation when they visited the office of Consulate General of Pakistan in Toronto for renewal of their Pakistani Machine Readable passports. Tahir Malik, the person responsible there to take their application, asked them questions like “How did you arrive in Canada? Did you seek asylum in this country? What is your job and how much do you make?”

These questions perturbed his family. Many other Pakistanis have lodged similar complaints and negligence by the Commission. The mental torture and agony that fellow Pakistanis are suffering to Pakistani High Commission in Canada Tariq Azim Khan via letters, emails etc but to no avail.

Pakistani High Commission in Canada is responsible for dealing with matters relating to CNICs Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) and National Identity Cards for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOPs).

It is common knowledge that the early and timely provision of relevant identity cards to overseas Pakistanis is of utmost importance as it is mandatory for every overseas Pakistani to possess those to apply for new passports or for the renewal of old passports. Since the introduction of machine-readable passports, Pakistanis have to go to their embassies early in the morning to stand in queues and they are not dealt with as politely as they deserve.

Reportedly, the Pakistani mission is sitting on prepared NICOPs or CNICs that were sent to NADRA for distribution to applicants. All these identity documents have been lying and gathering dust in the cupboards of the mission; while those who applied for the processing of these are constantly told that their NICOPs or CNICs are not ready or that they never came back from Pakistan, thus forcing them to apply and re-apply for newer NICOPs and CNICs time and again.

This negligence has resulted in very serious implications for the community in Canada. The Pakistani diaspora has urged the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and the Foreign Office, as well as other departments concerned to take all possible measures to resolve their problems on priority.

They have also urged the government to hold an external inquiry for criminal negligence and mismanagement displayed by the mission there.

Pakistani High Commission in Canada Tariq Azim Khan could not be contacted for his version despite repeated attempts on his phone.