ISLAMABAD: At least five more Pakistani missions abroad will start issuing machine readable passports (MRPs) by the end of next month.
According to an official, 24 Pakistani missions abroad are issuing MRPs, while the system has been deployed at nine more centres, thus the number will increase to 33 in the near future. The new stations where the system will be operational by the end of June are Washington, Ottawa, Madrid, The Hague and Copenhagen.
The official said the staff posted to run the facility at the five missions had submitted their visa applications. He said the MRP system had also been deployed at Vancouver, Houston, Damascus and Pretoria and a meeting would be held next week to decide about posting the technical staff there.
The official conceded that the pace of conversion of passport issuance from manual to MRP remained slow because of shortage of manpower.