With the extension of a passport’s validity to ten years, greater responsibility falls on the shoulders of all the organs of the government concerned to see to it that they are issued to the right citizens. In a way this constitutes a comfort to the public that had to run from pillar to post getting in the process a firsthand experience of the red-tapism and malpractices that have become synonymous with a passport office.

We know that given the ubiquitous scourge of corruption, there have been a number of cases where foreigners got their ID cards and on this basis were able to get passports as well. This particularly holds true in the case of Afghan refugees who over the years have procured these documents with relative ease. Militant outfits too have been taking advantage of the loopholes in the system in vogue. Now with the validity period of up to ten years, there is dire need to first make sure that the passport officials bring into the system a scrutiny mechanism that leaves no room for the criminal and wayward elements to exploit. As the process starts from the ID cards that grants a formal status to a person to be the citizen of the state, it has to be purged of the prevailing malpractices. Eventually, it all comes down to how much transparency we have within our system and such crucial organs of the state that relate to the country’s national security.