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Facility-airport – One Window Facilitation Desk at Islamabad airport starts operating for expatriates

Facility-airport – One Window Facilitation Desk at Islamabad airport starts operating for expatriates

One Window Facilitation Desk has started working at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport which will help overseas Pakistanis sort out grievances relating to at least 12 federal government departments which is being monitored by ombudsman on weekly basis.

It was on the initiative of the Federal Ombudsman Salam Farooqi that a decision was taken to set up such desks at main airports of the country recently and the one at BBIA was in line with that initiative. The One Window facility has been working for a week now and since then the feedback has been positive despite teething problems which is normal as many federal governments have to coordinate to serve the expatriates, said Federal Ombudsman sources here Sunday.

One Window facility will be operational round the clock and will be manned by staff from Civil Aviation Authority ,Federal Board of Revenue, Federal Investigation Agency, Overseas Pakistani Foundation, Overseas Employment Corporation, Immigration and Passport, Ministry of Religious Affairs, National Database and Regulatory Authority, PIA, Airport Security and Anti- Narcotics Force and Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment.

The grievances of the overseas Pakistanis concern issuance of passport, immigration, housing ministry , Police, PIA and many other federal agencies. The Ombudsman Office has decided in second week of the current month to open One Window facility at Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi airports for tackling complaints of the overseas Pakistanis and providing them needed information on their arrival. Besides they can also use toll free Ombudsman Help Line while calling at 0092+51+1055 which works round the clock.

Grievance Commissioner Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar Senior Adviser Law has been appointed to specifically focus on problems of overseas Pakistanis.

“It is jus to give voice to voiceless people overseas who have to run from pillar to post for solution of their small issues so I am confident this facility will turn out to be a great help to them,” said the Grievance Commissioner.

When questioned who would coordinate, Hafiz Ahsaan said OPF and CCA would act as Complaint Handling agencies at the airport for overseas Pakistanis. They have been instructed to submit weekly report to their Head of departments and Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis. The duty officers of the concerned departments will maintain a proper record of the queries and will pursue the unsettled grievances of the expatriates until these are redressed.

Since appointment of the grievance commissioner things moved at a quick pace and his efforts has led to publication of a pamphlet titled “Handbook for Overseas Pakistanis”. It contains names, phones numbers and emails of all the focal persons both in the federal government departments and Pakistani missions abroad so that expatriates now living in 124 countries across the world should know who to contact in case of a problem.

The Ombudsman has also instructed the concerned department to provide a Machine Readable Passport facility at a place in every foreign country where live more than 10 thousand Pakistanis. This will help save their time and money as well to get a passport.

May 24, 2015

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