Government Clarifies Passport Policy for Married & Divorced Women

The Director General of Immigration and Passports, Mustafa Jamal Kazi, has addressed the discrepancy in the policies of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and the passport issuing authority regarding married women. The issue revolves around the requirement for a married woman’s passport to bear the name of her husband instead of her father, which has raised concerns about contradictions between government institutions and discrimination against women.

The matter came to light when Khadija Bukhari, a lawyer and petitioner, shared her experience on a private channel.” Bukhari had updated her Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) with Nadra after her marriage, retaining her father’s name, but was told to include her husband’s name when renewing her passport.

Kazi clarified that the passport and Nadra’s records serve different purposes, with the passport being an international document subject to international agreements. He explained that women may face difficulties when travelling with their children if their passport only bears their father’s name, making it challenging to establish their biological relationship if the children’s father is not present.

The DG Passport also acknowledged that modifications will be made to passports to include a section for mentioning the name of the ex-husband in cases of divorce. Additionally, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi has formed a committee to address the issue, instructing them to review the concerns and develop a practical solution that prioritizes the convenience and ease of married women.

This move aims to resolve the long-standing issue and provide a clearer policy for married women, ensuring that their identification documents accurately reflect their circumstances.

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