SIALKOT

The issue of establishing Regional Passport Office in NA-111, Sialkot-I and its closure on political grounds is being politicised by Federal Minister Kh Muhammad Asif, MNA Armughan Subhani and PPP leader Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan to score points.

The PML-N leaders were indulging themselves in point scoring over the passport office issue. It was established at village Koobay Chak-Bajwat in 2011 and inaugurated by then federal information minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and then Punjab governor Sardar Latif Ahmed for facilitating thousands of people of Bajwat’s 85 far off border villages.

In February 2015, the PML-N leadership got the passport office closed. Followed by the strong protest of the local people, MNA Ch Armughan Subhani got the passport office re-established at another place in village Maraakiwal-Sialkot. The new place of the passport office was only 3.5-km away from the old site of the passport office.

Now, the passport office has been established there after a month-long closure at village Maraakiwal-Sialkot with inauguration plaque bearing the name of Khawaja Asif, the federal minister for defence, water and power, and the MNA.

Expressing her grave concern over situation, Dr Firdous Ashiq termed the step of changing the place of the office political victimisation of the people having affiliation with the other political parties rather than PML-N. She also termed it “dirty politics” by her rivals.

She said that the local PML-N leaders were now doing the politics of political victimisation, adding that they had made the issue the main focus of their politics.

She said that the local leaders of PML-N had also ended all the social welfare and development projects started during the PPP tenure. She added that the PML-N leaders were inaugurating completed projects only for affixing plaques bearing their names. She said that she had established National Savings Center, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) branch, Baitul Maal Office, Post Office and NADRA Executive Office in village Koobay Chak to facilitate the people but the PML-N government ended all of these projects.

All the 12 buses of her NGO have been rusting away under the nose of the district administration of Sialkot for the last two consecutive years. The government functionaries have miserably failed to take any effective measure to save the same. Their windscreens have been shattered, tyres of these buses lying burst. Stray dogs and cats were often found resting on the seats of these buses.

She had made it clear that the former government of Pakistan had donated these buses to her NGO namely “Shade” after completing all the legal requirements and formalities. She alleged that the PML-N government was politicising the project.

She said that the district administration had confiscated these buses two years ago without giving legal receiving documents of these buses, though these buses were deputed for the free of cost transportation of the girl students between Sialkot and Bajwat villages.

Earlier, addressing a big public meeting, Kh Asif said that Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan did not spend even 20 percent of the total development funds in her constituency.

The MNA added that government departments would not be made corruption centres, as these departments including the regional passport office which had become the “centre of corruption under her nose” at village Koobay Chak-Bajwat.

Thus, the location of the passport office was changed to Maraakiwal village from Koobay Chak.