New amendment to women’s passports in Pakistan sparks outrage
The protesters took to social media to criticise the amendment as sexist, prejudiced and discriminatory

at 1:06 am
POK and Kashmir News
File pic of Pakistani passport

Islamabad, May 24:  A recently proposed amendment to women’s passports in Pakistan has created outrage amongst the masses, as the Pakistani government is considering modifying its passport policy for married and divorced women, after a lawyer petitioned a local court against the requirement to include the husband’s name on the travel document.

The protesters took to social media and voiced their disdain for the amendment, calling it sexist, prejudiced, discriminatory.

The matter also carries contradictions between the policies of two government institutions that possess data of citizens across the country, namely the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and the Directorate General Immigration & Passports (DGIP) regarding married women.

As per the former, women are allowed to bear their father’s names on their Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) cards; the national register of citizens, but not on their passports as the DGIP which handles the issue of passports has made it mandatory for women to change the name from father to husband.

Additionally, in the case of divorce, a new category of “ex-husband name” will be added to women’s passports, especially in case she is travelling with her children she had with her former husband.

Needless to say, the country’s citizens were outraged over the whole policy amendment and have lambasted the Interior Ministry, and in particular the DG Passports Mustafa Jamal Qazi.

The government called the policy amendment a “legal requirement”, saying that since passports are documents meant for international travel they must comply with international agreements, unlike the NADRA-issued CNICs that were used only in Pakistan.

DG Immigration and Passports, Mustafa Jamal Qazi said on Thursday that a committee was formed to revamp the passport policy, pertaining to the condition of a “married woman’s” passport bearing the name of her husband instead of the father.

The committee was tasked to address discrepancies between the policies of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and the passport issuing authority regarding married women, he told a private news channel.