Husain Haqqani gets Pakistani passport

Husain-HaqqaniWASHINGTON: Former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, said on Friday that he was being forced to give up his Pakistani citizenship and that’s why his passport was delayed.

Mr Haqqani had applied for a new passport several months ago, after his old passport expired, but he received it on Aug 25.

Mr Haqqani has been living in the United States for more than a decade but retains his Pakistani citizenship and travels on a Pakistani passport.

In a statement to the media, Mr Haqqani said that the passport he received at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington on Aug 25 was dated June 9, showing that it was issued almost three months before the embassy gave it to him.

“The Interior Ministry, Islamabad, had also informed me that it was dispatched to Washington in June,” he wrote.

The normal process of issuance of passport requires the embassy to inform the applicant once it receives the passport as after the introduction of the new computerised filing system, passports for overseas Pakistanis are issued in Islamabad.

“I never received the call and whenever I asked, I was told that the passport had not been received,” Mr Haqqani said. “Someone probably wanted to force me to get a US passport, something I have avoided so far,” he added.

Mr Haqqani noted that after the Pakistani media reported that Pakistani authorities were reluctant to issue him a passport, the Interior Ministry released a statement saying they had not delayed the passport.

Before that the embassy had insisted that they were still waiting for a passport from Islamabad.

“The embassy apparently found both the passport and my contact information after the media report,” Mr Haqqani said.

“I now have my Pakistani passport — the only passport I have — and all is well that ends well.”

Mr Haqqani said he was now looking forward to being able to return to Pakistan, “as is my right,” and to travel around the world “notwithstanding the tediousness of having to get visas that are necessary on a Pakistani passport.” -DN

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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