OVER the last few years, e-passports have become more common around the world with about one hundred and fifty countries using them.
It is a matter of satisfaction that Pakistan has also finally joined the list of those countries when Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the e-passport facility at a ceremony in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the e-passport carries various security checks and will facilitate our people especially the overseas Pakistanis at the airports.
An e-Passport is essentially an enhanced version of the traditional passport and an inherently higher security document than the Machine Readable Passport (MRP).
Its benefits with an embedded microchip containing biometric information about the holder are very immense and significant.
It extensively improves the security of the citizen’s travel documents, facilitates the circulation and flow of passengers at the airports or borders, lowers hurdles to trade and business mobility, enhances the tools at hand for travel monitoring and gives a set of well accepted standards for cooperation between countries. With the e-passport, the rampant threat of identity frauds can be effectively countered.
As we have also launched the e-passport, it is important that the entire necessary infrastructure such as e-gates is established at the airports in order to make the whole immigration process hassle free for the passengers.
Then the people must be encouraged to convert to e-passports by keeping its price on the lower side.
Given the crowd at the passport offices, we will suggest the Interior Ministry to open more such offices at the district level, especially the big populated cities in order to the facilitate the people, ensuring that all the procedures are completed under one roof.
It is a matter of satisfaction that the country is moving towards digital transformation and it is certainly the way forward as the use of latest technology not only brings a lot of ease for the people but also greatly helps in ensuring transparency and check leakages and corruption.