The government has been directed by a parliamentary body to ease the visa processing for the Pakistani ex-pats who have immigrated to the European countries by declaring themselves as foreign nationals.
A briefing was held by the Senate Implementation Committee regarding the assistance given to Pakistanis who are having issues in visiting their home country.
In an earlier meeting, the members met to decide whether the Pakistanis who are living abroad primarily in the European countries should be given Pakistan Origin Cards (POC) facility. It will allow them to return their home country to attend weddings and funerals. They will also be able to buy properties.
The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development was directed by the committee to devise a plan to help the Pakistanis who are living abroad to acquire the POCs smoothly.
On the other hand, few committee members observed that those Pakistanis who have foreign nationalities as Afghan nationals should not be rewarded. They should not be treated as criminal offenders.
Senator Sajjad Turi, however, did not seen any harm in issuing POCs to the Pakistanis who have roots or families in Pakistan.
Senator Dilawar Khan Chairman of the committee said, “It is important that such Pakistanis can return to their country of origin to meet their families.”
The problem faced by expatriates due to the biometric system in banks abroad was also discussed. The committee was informed that 28.1 million or 96% of the active accounts of Pakistanis in foreign countries have been biometrically verified until Oct 31.
The government informed the Senate Implementation Committee that another 1.18 million Pakistanis are to be biometrically verified as well.
Since the issuance of Banking Policy and Regulations Department (BPRD) Circular Letter, 44, 590 accounts of overseas Pakistanis have been facilitated. Over the matter of Pakistan Origin Cards issuance to the Pakistanis living in the European countries the committee was told that according to the circular banks are permitted to use certain documentation to confirm their identity. This is an alternate arrangement to the biometric verification.