Friday, June 21, 2024
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HomePakistanGovernment to Revise Passport Policy for Married Women

Government to Revise Passport Policy for Married Women

As the debate over passport rules for women gained attention, the Director General of Immigration and Passports, Mustafa Jamal Kazi, announced on Thursday that the government will make changes to address the issue.

During an interview, Kazi responded to questions about the requirement for married and divorced women to include their husband or ex-husband’s name in their passports. He said that adjustments will be made to the passport application to include a section for divorced women to mention their ex-husband’s name.

Kazi also clarified variation between the policies of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and the passport issuing authority regarding married women. The issue arose when a “married woman’s” passport displayed her husband’s name instead of her father’s, sparking concerns about conflicting policies and gender discrimination.

Khadija Bukhari, a lawyer involved in a related case at the Lahore High Court, highlighted the inconvenience faced by women who wish to retain their father’s name on their identification documents, regardless of their marital status.

Bukhari shared her own experience of updating her Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) with Nadra after marriage without issues but faced resistance when renewing her passport with the same information. The authorities insisted on including her husband’s name, even though she preferred to keep her father’s name.

Kazi refrained from commenting on specific cases due to legal proceedings but addressed the arguments raised on the show. He explained that the passport serves as an international document and must comply with international agreements, whereas Nadra’s records are primarily used within Pakistan.

The DG Passport noted that using a father’s name in passports can create confusion during travel, especially when women are accompanied by children. He also mentioned legal challenges faced by the passport authority when divorces are not officially registered, leading to custody issues.

Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi took notice of the issue and formed a committee headed by Interior Secretary Khurram Ali Agha to resolve it. Naqvi instructed the committee to review all concerns related to women’s passports and propose solutions that prioritize convenience for married women while adhering to regulations.

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