The Government of Pakistan has given the green light to biometric ePassports in an effort to curb illegal activities like human trafficking and put a stop to the forgery of these documents.
In a high-level meeting at the interior ministry office on Friday, the ministry approved the launch of the e-passport project. The issuing date for these passports is currently being pegged at 2017 and the Interior Minister has directed the Immigration and Passports Director General to acquire an in-house digital printing machine with the latest printing technology to cater to the needs of printing e-passports and to ensure quality control is underway.
“We will ensure the elimination of human trafficking from the Pakistani soil with the introduction of e-passports,” said the Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
How will the ePassport work?
The ePassport will be embedded with a microchip with the detailed biometric information of the passport holder.
The chip will help in the authentication of the identity of the traveler. The passport can also accept additional information that may be required in the future and can only be added by the Pakistani immigration and passport authorities.
The ePassport is way more secure than a physical one as the electronic chip is a lot harder to manipulate or hack into. Moreover, the information stored inside the chip can be updated easily in the future by Pakistani immigration and passport authorities as needed.
The forgery and misuse of Pakistani traveling document has contributed immensely in destroying Pakistan’s national image and currently, Pakistani passport-holders are considered one of the worst in terms of visa restrictions. The introduction of ePassports may not completely fix this situation, but it will still go a long way in improving Pakistan’s international image.