These news items portray a mixed picture about the offenders. Some state they have been misled by travel agents, some say they never knew the regulations relating to passports. Obviously, this state of affairs requires some detailed study about the passport laws. It does not give its bearer the right to travel in another country, but it does request that other governments permit him to travel in their territories. Generally, when one enters another country he has to face passport control, the authorities of that country review and verify the antecedents of the entering person to their country and those who are not found holding valid and authorized documents are sent back to the destination from where they come.
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These news items portray a mixed picture about the offenders. Some state they have been misled by travel agents, some say they never knew the regulations relating to passports.
Obviously, this state of affairs requires some detailed study about the passport laws. It does not give its bearer the right to travel in another country, but it does request that other governments permit him to travel in their territories. Generally, when one enters another country he has to face passport control, the authorities of that country review and verify the antecedents of the entering person to their country and those who are not found holding valid and authorized documents are sent back to the destination from where they come.
In this regard, many travellers knowingly and wilfully commit fraud and make false statements. Such activity in ordinary course constitutes criminal offences and the same are punishable. One should, therefore, be well aware of these legal requirements before embarking upon travel. In this background, this write-up attempts to explore the regulations relating to passports in Pakistan. The Passport Act, regulates the business of entry into and departure from Pakistan.
The provisions of the law relating to passports extend to the whole of Pakistan. A passport must be a validly issued passport; a passport is a document that is the property of the Government. All the incoming and departing passengers from Pakistan are required to hold: I. A valid passport to visit a foreign country; or II. A permit; or III. Any other travel document. A Pakistani citizen is prohibited to depart from a Pakistani port or any other authorized place of departure unless he is in possession of a valid passport.
These regulations are applicable to a Pakistani citizen who is above the age of 12 years. A violator of the law can be punished for disregarding the prohibitions prescribed under the Passport Act, The acts which constitute violation of the law relating to passports among other include: a. An attempt to enter or depart from Pakistan without having the prescribed documents for travel and that too in violation of the Passport Law; b. The law requires and imposes a duty on a traveller to possess and keep a valid passport issued by a competent authority.
It is incumbent upon a person who intends either to enter Pakistan or leave the country to possess a valid passport. A person who holds custody of another person below the age of 12 and tries either to leave or enter Pakistan without having a valid passport both for him and accompanying person contravenes the provisions of the Passport Act, The law lays down responsibilities on the person who controls the movements of goods and services.
A person incharge of any means of transport who is found either allowing or helping a person depart or enter into Pakistan without valid travel documents stands guilty of an offence under the Passport Act. There are different acts which constitute contravention of the Passport Act, Among these acts, the following are cognisable under the provisions of the Passport Act, Making a false statement for the grant of passport.
Attesting or verifying any false statement for the grant of passport. Wilfully making an untrue statement for the grant of passport. Making alterations, or changes or committing of forgery for obtaining a passport; V. Use of forged passport VI. Use of forged or altered passport. A person in possession of a passport not lawfully issued or allows someone to use his passport. Who is involved in the trafficking of passports or documents required for the issuance of passport.
Who neglects to return a passport issued to him wrongly. Obtains more than one passport for himself and accompanying passengers. The passport regulations are comprehensive and provide appropriate guidelines for all those who are either entering into Pakistan or going out of Pakistan.
The writer is an advocate and is currently working as an associate with Azim-ud-Din Law Associates Karachi 1. A person can be convicted for this offence for an imprisonment of one year or fine or both. Such person is liable for punishment.
An exercise had revealed that around 84, government officials, including top bureaucrats, had obtained passports while hiding their official positions, apparently to freely fly out of Pakistan without the hassle of obtaining no objection certificates NOCs from their departments. Obtaining a passport in private capacity by a government servant by concealing facts is a punishable offence under Section 6 1 of the Passport Act Copies of the letter for similar action had also been sent to all the four provincial chief secretaries, besides chief secretaries of Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK. The three-month deadline actually started in April after meeting some procedural formalities and was to end on Saturday July Since a lot of government officials turned up to get new passports and the deadline was coming to a close over the weekend, it has been extended till July 23 Tuesday. On the expiry of the extended deadline, the passports of defaulting officials may be blocked and their cases referred to the Federal Investigation Agency FIA to initiate legal action, a senior government official told Dawn. Earlier this year, the cabinet had decided to give a one-time amnesty to such government officers and officials, offering a scheme involving a penalty of Rs5, in addition of the routine passport fee to get their data rectified.
FEDERAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY