The country’s top immigration officer has taken a strong notice of harassment of passengers at the immigration checkpoints and airports across the country in the name of re-checking of travel documents by the special checking officers of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
The additional director general of the FIA, Immigration, has issued a letter to the heads of all the zonal offices of his department, ordering the staff to provide facilities to the passengers.
Airport Under New Policy
The letter No 31/2005 with title ‘Job Description of Immigration Officer’ has been dispatched to the FIA’s Sindh Zone I Karachi, Sindh Zone II, Punjab Zone I Lahore, Zone II Faisalabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Zone Peshawar, FIA Quetta Zone Balochistan along with standing order.
Reason Behind the New Policy
The letter expressed reservations that the special checking officers were not discharging their responsibilities properly. It said that due to non-compliance with the instructions given in the standing order, passengers at airports and checkpoints face undue hassle during the immigration process.
Similarly, special checking officers had been directed not to re-check papers of women, children, elderly and sick passengers. “Such passengers will be exempted from rechecking of travel documents,” the letter said. Also, not more than 10% of all passengers of any flight would be re-checked.
The letter makes some changes in the standing order to provide facilities to the passengers. It said that an FIA Immigration special checking officer would not re-check travel documents of every passenger, adding that documents would be re-checked of those passengers about whom there were clear doubts.