Diplomatic passports of Imran Khan’s cabinet members cancelled after 12 months

Former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, former planning minister Asad Umar and former interior minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed. – AFP/APP/FILES
  • Diplomatic passports of Shah Mehmood, Asad Umar and Farrukh Habib were cancelled.
  • Cabinet members must surrender their passports within 30 days of leaving office.
  • Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed claims that his citizenship has also been revoked.

ISLAMABAD: More than a year after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was overthrown, the diplomatic passports of 10 members of former prime minister Imran Khan’s cabinet were revoked, it was revealed on Saturday.

A notification issued by the Director General of Immigration and Passports on May 24 said the authorities had “cancelled and deactivated” the passports of nine Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders and the Awami Muslim League chief. Decided because he was no longer there. “entitled” to hold a diplomatic passport.

Among the PTI leaders whose passports have been revoked are Aoon Abbas Bapi, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Parvez Khattak, Ali Amin Gandapur, Ali Muhammad Khan, Farrukh Habib, Zartaj Gul, Azam Khan Swati and AMLK. Chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed is included.

All these politicians were part of Imran Khan’s cabinet when he was in power from 2018-2022.

Reacting to the cancellation of diplomatic passports, the AML chief claimed that he has been a federal minister for 16 terms and is “corruption free”.

I did not run away from the country like Zardari, Nawaz. [and] Dar, but today my citizenship, passport has been revoked,” Rashid claimed.

Schedule IV of the Passport Rules 2021 specifies who can hold a diplomatic passport.

According to the rules, these passports can be issued only on the recommendations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Below is a list of people who can hold diplomatic passports.

  • President of Pakistan
  • Prime Minister of Pakistan
  • Chairman Senate of Pakistan
  • Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan
  • Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan
  • Governors of Provinces;
  • Chief Ministers of Provinces
  • Ministers of the Government of Pakistan
  • Attorney General for Pakistan
  • Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
  • Chief of Army Staff
  • Chief of Naval Staff
  • Chief of Air Staff
  • Former President of Pakistan
  • Former Prime Ministers of Pakistan
  • Ministers of State of the Government of Pakistan
  • Former Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan and former Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan
  • Special Assistants to the Prime Minister
  • All employees of the Federal Government with the status of Federal Minister or Minister of State;
  • Chairman, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission;
  • Officers of BPS-17 and above of Pakistan Foreign Service for the period of membership of Pakistan Foreign Service.
  • All other officers of BPS-17 and above including officers of the Armed Forces holding equivalent rank proceeding abroad on diplomatic assignments and holding diplomatic status for the duration of their posting or other short-term assignments abroad.
  • Pakistani nationals holding the following offices in international organizations: President of the United Nations General Assembly; Presidents of UN specialized agencies like WHO, ILO, FAO etc.; Executive Heads of the Secretariat of the United Nations General Assembly of such independent and subsidiary organizations of repute as WTO, UNIDO etc. Directors representing Pakistan at IBRD, IMF and Asian Development Bank; the President and Vice-Presidents of the World Bank and the Managing Director and Directors of the IMF; Officers holding the rank of Assistant Secretary-General and above in the United Nations Secretariat and its specialized agencies; Secretary Generals ECO, SAARC and OIC Secretariat; And Executive Director of Islamic Development Bank:

The rules also state that if these passport holders leave these offices, they have to surrender the document within 30 days of leaving the office.

It is not clear whether the said cabinet members gave up their passports or why they were canceled more than a year after they left office.

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