Pakistan News

NA body wants pictures of ex-PM Nawaz Sharif in embassies replaced

NA body wants pictures of ex-PM Nawaz Sharif in embassies replaced

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis on Monday directed the Foreign Office to get the pictures of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in different embassies abroad replaced with that of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

MNA Shagufta Jumani of the PPP while chairing the committee meeting said an advertisement by the Pakistani embassy in Oman had been published in an Omani newspaper on the Independence Day in which Ambassador retired Capt Ali Javed was shown standing in the embassy.

The pictures of President Mamnoon Hussain and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif could be seen in the background. But there is not portrait of the Quaid.

“The advertisement went viral and took flak from people on the social media,” she said.

FO told to issue directives to all Pakistani embassies abroad to display only Quaid-i-Azam’s portraits

“I have learnt that the ambassador has displayed the picture of former premier who has been disqualified by the Supreme Court,” she said.

“This committee recommends to the Foreign Office to send directions to all embassies across the globe to display only the pictures of Quaid-i-Azam,” she said.

Other members of the committee, including Sardar Kamal Khan Bangulzai, Suraiya Jatoi, Ms Aisha and Aliya Kamran also agreed with the suggestion and directed the FO to take necessary steps in this regard.

Nicop condition

The committee directed the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) not to make National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (Nicop) mandatory for the expatriates working in the Middle East and other neighbouring countries.

Ms Kamran of the JUI-F said the Pakistanis should not be forced to get Nicop.

Ms Aisha also said Nicop should only be necessary for the Pakistanis living in the European countries as it was useless for those living in the Middle East.

Director General Nadra retired Brig Nisar Ahmed said Nicops were issued to those who had the Pakistani or dual nationalities.

“Pakistan Origin Cards are issued to those who surrender their nationality while emigrating to other countries. Those possessing POC can easily come to Pakistan without getting a visa,” he said.

He said Nicop had been issued to seven million Pakistanis while POCs to over 1.5 million Pakistanis and around 3,500 foreign spouses of Pakistani nationals. He said parliament had to legislate if it wanted to relax the condition of Nicop for the Pakistanis in Middle East and Saudi Arabia. He informed the committee that the interior ministry was already working on a bill.

Chairperson Shagufta Jumani said the bill should be passed as soon as possible.

The Nadra chief told Dawn that $25 were charged as a Nicop fee from Pakistanis working in Middle East and Saudi Arabia. However, $45 are charged from Pakistanis working in the European countries.

“As the Supreme Court has suggested decreasing the Nicop fee, we have proposed increasing the fee for the issuance of Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) so that we can adjust the loss we will incur once the Nicop fee is done away with,” he said.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2017

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