DERA GHAZI KHAN-The district police and administration seem reluctant to take action against agents operating outside the passport office. Agents were sitting outside the office and their removal was not within the jurisdiction of the office, newly posted Assistant Director of Regional Passport Office DG Khan Rao Khalil Ahmed told The Nation.

"Touts/agents are involved in misguiding and looting the passport seekers and are also a sort of security threat. A few people are also engaged by themselves in looting the passport seekers at motorcycle stand which is more dangerous from security point of view. They are also involved in corruption," Rao Khalil added.

He said, "I have been transferred here just two months ago. I have written a letter to the Mayor Municipal Corporation, the Deputy Commissioner and the District Police Officer (DPO) DG Khan dated April 16, 2018 for removal of all un-authorized agents/touts from vicinity immediately but all in vain."

A passport official requesting anonymity said, "Passport Office DG Khan is completely under the control of agent mafias. Some corrupt officials have also been found involved in the malpractices with the help of the blue-eyed touts namely Tariq Gurchani, Jameel, Abdullah, Yousaf, Hasnain and an official RaoToufiq who have been un-officially authorized to deal with the passport seekers through agents."

The official said that in March 2018, former Assistant Director Rao Abdul Islam, lower division clerk (LDC) Shahab-ud-Din and tout Tariq Gurchani were red-handed nabbed by FIA Multan. They had receiving bribe from the complainant Iqbal Leghari, he further said. But after releasing from FIA, agent's mafia under supervision of Tariq Gurchani is once again in full swing in the malpractices as usual, he added.

He said the agents help the applicants in getting their passports prepared and for this work they charge extra amount except official fees of Rs1,000 to Rs10,000 for the issuance of an out-of-turn token, delivery of a passport and for issuing dual passport on fake CNIC. Approximately 250 to 300 persons apply for passport on a daily basis at the DG Khan passport office, he said.

When approached, police station Civil Line DG Khan ASI ShahzadAfzal said that on a tip-off the police had raided the Passport Office and agent namely Abdul Ghani Bhutta was arrested. The police also recovered some fake police reports of loss of passports and some fake rubber stamps of Police Station City DG Khan and bank challans. The case is under trial, he said.

Shahzad said that more than 100 agents are sitting outside the passport office while the officials were minting money from the applicants through the agent mafia. They are extorting money from applicants under the shelter of the authorities, he said.