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Pakistan confirms introduction of biometric passports from June

System’s development ‘facilitated’ by unnamed German firm
Pakistan confirms introduction of biometric passports from June

The Pakistani Government confirmed it will start issuing biometric passports by June, Gulf News reports.

According to Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Pakistan’s federal minister for interior, an unnamed German company will be responsible for the development and deployment of the new system in the country.

The supplier could be Berlin-based Veridos, which along with a partner won the contract for Denmark’s biometric passports earlier this year.

The upcoming biometric passport system is designed to simplify passport control procedures and reduce passengers’ identification times.

The new digital document will feature a biometric chip containing citizens’ fingerprint data, together with traditional passports’ information like name, date of birth, and holder’s photograph.

The ePassport’s validity will be ten years, and its fee has been reduced by half, to allow more citizens to apply for one.

Commenting on the news, Ahmed said about 300,000 visas had been issued via the new, online-only process, of which only 12,000 were rejected in the last four months.

Pakistan’s e-visa system was first established in February, with the goal of discontinuing the manual visa system, and helping visa facilities encourage tourism and business visits to the country.

A number of countries have started issuing digital passports and other biometric documents in the past few months, including Ukraine, Botswana, and Belgium.

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