ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Tuesday gave direction to form a committee that will work out a uniform policy to issue visas for employees of NGOs operating in Pakistan and for foreign students studying in local seminaries and universities.

The minister gave these directions during his visit to the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports where he got a detailed briefing from Director General Immigration and Passports on various matters of the directorate.

During the meeting, the minister directed that no one would be allowed to enter Pakistan from Afghanistan border without legal documents and the Pakistani Ambassador in Afghanistan will be requested to inform the Afghan authorities for the same. He directed to constitute a committee headed by Additional Secretary Ministry of Interior Saud Mirza that will work out a policy for foreign students, studying in Pakistani madaras (seminaries) and universities, and there shall be no discrimination for issuance of student visas.

Malik also gave instructions to devise a policy for the visas for employees of NGOs working in Pakistan as it had been observed that some of these NGOs were working in Pakistan without proper clearance. In this regard, all would be given notice and warning to get registered within next fifteen days.

During the briefing, the minister was apprised that during the period from October 2004 to March 2008, 5.527 million passports were issued whereas during the tenure of present government, from April 2008 to February 12, 2013, as many as12.345 million passports had been issued. “Thus, there has been an increase of 7 million in total number of passports issued,” DG Passports informed the minister adding that Rs. 21.815 billion revenue was earned from October 2004 to March 2008 whereas in last 5 years, from April 2008 till to-date, Rs. 48.696 billion has been generated as revenue receipts. The DG Passports in his briefing informed that there had been 90 percent increase in establishment of new passport offices within country whereas 120 percent increase in establishment of machine readable passport (MRP) offices at foreign missions.

The interior minister also announced to extend, for one year, the deadline for clearance of multiple identity card and passport cases from Black List under amnesty scheme. The He also ordered that a detailed summary shall be made for the revamping of the Directorate of Passports which should include creation of additional posts, revised pay structure on the lines of Islamabad Police and decentralization of printing facility.

APP adds: Malik warned foreigners overstaying in Pakistan to get their stay regularised otherwise they would face legal action including heavy fine.

Talking to mediamen after chairing a meeting here at passport and immigration office headquarters, he said the foreigners will have to get their stay regularised within 15 days as "We would not allow anyone to overstay in Pakistan after expiry of their visas."

The minister said he had constituted a task force to check foreigners staying in the country illegally.