After the fuel crisis, Pakistan is to face the Passport Lamination Paper Crisis, in 2023. The lamination paper is running out, resulting in a huge backlog of unissued passports in Pakistan. The situation is such that the future of thousands of foreign nationals planning to travel abroad for study work or leisure is in danger, and people, of course, have failed as they are facing difficulty in getting new passports.
As per a local media report, there is a backlog of approximately 7,00,000 unissued passports and a shortage of lamination paper, which France has acquired. Once the lamination paper comes for printing, the documents for the latest version of passports will also work. The timing again means that anyone who needs an automatic passport will have to wait until something more normal happens as Pakistani authorities deal with the backlog.
Once again, the people of Pakistan face the cost of economic disruption, and it’s certainly not the first time. In 2013, people in Pakistan also faced such an issue. Due to the shortcomings of the society in which passports are being made and the shortage of passport paper holders, which contributed to the mess in 2013, it is possible for the entire country to run out of paper, making the lives of common people more difficult, with the shortage of paper leading to more than one crisis in Pakistan.
Fuel crisis in Pakistan, 2023
According to a report by Adorn News, only last month, the air business was badly affected by the fuel and fund crisis in Pakistan. Pakistan International Airlines, i.e., PIA, was closing down. Hundreds of flights were canceled due to funding problems.
Why did this happen, you are asking? Well, it is due to the plant supply cut on unpaid products by Pakistan State Oil, or PSO. Earlier in August, Pakistan removed 11 portfolios from its fleet due to this financial crisis, including three of its Boeing 777s, which were stopped for this reason.
Pakistan’s national carriers have been accused of poor infrastructure, and hence, the government is struggling with a balance of payments crisis due to severe debt servicing. Passengers have been in trouble and mismanaged for so many decades; the vicious cycle continues; now Pakistan is being forced to take another strong bailout to escape default; and elections are due in the country next year.
The plan is for the state-run Pakistan International Airlines to be sold as part of a private equity scheme, with its debts and liabilities reportedly valued at around US$2.5 billion, five times more than its total assets. This is the situation in Pakistan.
Let me give you a test. Recently, the social media worker survey by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s political party (by the PLM Digital Team) was posted on social media and essentially asked people about their commitment to the 2024 general elections. The results showed that 81% of respondents voted for Pakistan, former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party and only 16% chose the party that posted the poll.