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Govt withdraws VIP protocol at airports countrywide

ISLAMABAD: Under the newly invoked austerity measures, the government has ordered immediate withdrawal of VIP protocol given by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to influential people at airports.

The decision took effect from August 26 (Sunday) after the Ministry of Interior issued directives to all officials concerned of the FIA to implement the orders forthwith.

The VIP protocol was usually given to politicians, legislators, senior bureaucrats, judges, military officials and journalists.

A letter issued to Karachi Airport administration barring them from VIP protocol to any person.

According to Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, “We have decided to strictly implement the decision to provide equal opportunities to all travellers without any discrimination.”

He adds that action will be taken against officials seen giving special treatment to any traveler.

It had been observed that influential people were given VIP protocol at airports so that they could avoid standing in long queues and get cleared their luggage without any hassle, he said.

“We have seen that influential people used to seek assistance of FIA officials at airports who (officials) accompanied them to promptly clear their luggage,” the minister said.

The interior ministry has directed the FIA that no government official or other VIPs would be given protocol at airports across the country.

Any FIA official, if found giving protocol to a VIP, would face strict action, the ministry warned.

According to the interior ministry, immigration counters at airports would be monitored and if any VIP was seen being given special treatment, the immigration staff and official in charge of their shift would be immediately suspended.

The ministry also directed the FIA to not harass passengers leaving the country.

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