I never want to go to the passport office again. I was under the impression that times had changed, that people and advance technological would have changed, but I was wrong; nothing has changed in Pakistan. On January 8, 2013, I went to the Garden Town passport office in Lahore where I witnessed high level of corruption and en entire culture of bribery. The Garden Town office has a room on the top floor for the elite class and their own personnel.

The poor people have to stand in long queues, in the blistering summer heat and in the harsh winters to get an entrance slip. The elite are treated with respect and reverence as they are the ones who can pay Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 easily and can get their passport on the same day or the next day. I was made to believe that I would receive my passport in 15 days, approximately four months later; I have still not heard of my passport. Whenever I go to the passport office, the concerned person tells me that the passport is not ready yet. On the other hand, the agent always asks me for Rs 10,000 and has offered to deliver my passport.

I am sure that if I give an agent Rs 10,000 he will deliver my passport within two days. How and why should I pay this amount, when I have paid my passport fee? Where is justice? Where are the checks and balances promised by every government? Where is Islam? Where is patriotism? Where is the rule of law? Such rumors have been going around about all the passport offices, and if this is true, then the common man might take the law into their own hands! We need a country where do not have to pay bribe which is strictly prohibited in Islam.


Lahore, May 3.