Islamabad, 20 November 2021 (TDI): Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, has launched a digital Power of Attorney (PoA) portal for overseas Pakistanis. The launching ceremony of the portal has held on 18 November at Prime Minister House, Islamabad.
Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Secretary, Sohail Mahmood, and chairman of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) attended the ceremony.
National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has developed this web-based portal.
In the pilot phase, the portal has been launched in 10 overseas missions of Pakistan in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK). This includes Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, and Houston in the US. While, in the UK, this portal is introduced in Pakistani missions at Los Angeles, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, and Bradford.
Additionally, the government will make it globally accessible in 10 weeks.
Digital ‘Power of Attorney’ portal
Power of Attorney grants written authorization to a designated person to act on behalf of another person in private, business, or other legal matters.
This portal will facilitate overseas Pakistanis in online attestation of Power of Attorney. Earlier, Pakistani citizens had to ensure physical appearance at the respective missions. Now, they can verify online without visiting the embassies personally.
Moreover, earlier, Pakistani dwelling in those countries or cities which don’t have a Pakistani embassy or consulate had to travel to the nearest country at Pakistan’s diplomatic mission for issuance of PoA. Now, they will be able to take benefit from this online facility.
The app features fulfill the global benchmark of e-KYC (Know Your User) compliance.
This portal utilizes Pak-ID Online Biometric verification services. The applicants (executors) and two witnesses will scan and upload their paper-based biometrics. NADRA will verify these documents.
The app also includes a module for a video interview. The consular officer at the concerned Pakistani mission will conduct an online interview of the executor and the witness. Moreover, the app’s features allow the officer to verify details from NADRA.
Additionally, NADRA will facilitate the end-users facing issues with their application through Pak-ID Live Chat feature. It will also provide technical services and maintenance services to MoFA.
Prime Minister’s remarks
Addressing the ceremony, Prime Minister Imran said it is a historic day for overseas Pakistanis. He said the government is fully cognizant of the needs of overseas Pakistanis and is undertaking various initiatives in this regard.
The PM added, earlier, the government digitized the process of acquiring the Letter of Administration and succession certificates for overseas Pakistan. Now, the digitization of Power of Attorney will facilitate around 75,000 overseas Pakistanis annually.
Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan termed the overseas Pakistanis as ‘biggest asset of the country’. He also said overseas Pakistanis boost the country’s economy with remittances. In the fiscal year 2020-21, the remittances amounted approximately to $30 billion.
Furthermore, the PM said Pakistani missions abroad are especially directed to look after the needs of overseas Pakistanis.
Chairman NADRA’s Remarks
Chairman of NADRA, Tariq Malik, stated, “Overseas Pakistanis can now apply for PoA from the comfort of their homes”. He added this web-based solution utilizes online biometrics verification and video interview to verify applicants.
Foreign Minister’s Remarks
Foreign Minister of Pakistan (FM), Shah Mahmood Qureshi, congratulated all on the successful launch of the portal. He also informed the participants that the project demanded extensive legislative and technological work. However, it is completed successfully in a short period.
The Foreign Minister added welfare of the Pakistani community is the major priority of Pakistani missions abroad.
Signing of MoU between NADRA and Foreign Ministry
Additionally, at the end of the ceremony, NADRA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also signed an MoU. As per this, NADRA will provide uninterrupted online services for the attestation of PoA.
Facilitates for Overseas Pakistanis
The incumbent government has undertaken many initiatives for overseas Pakistan. These include:
- Voting rights for overseas Pakistanis
On 17 November, Pakistan’s parliament passed 33 bills including the Elections Amendment Bill 2021. The bill introduces electronic voting machines (EVMs) along with granting voting rights to overseas Pakistanis.
Addressing the launching ceremony of the PoA portal, Prime Minister Imran Khan said, “I am happy that now overseas Pakistanis are also included in Pakistan’s democracy.” He added, now, successive governments will bound to pay heed to the needs of overseas Pakistanis.
Furthermore, the PM appreciated the efforts of his team for completing this project in a relatively short period. He also informed that now 90 million Pakistani can partake in the election process.
- FM Portal
Earlier this month Pakistan also launched FM Portal to facilitate overseas Pakistanis. Through FM Portal, overseas Pakistanis can register their problems, queries, and suggestions.
- Likewise, the government has introduced online acquirement of the Letter of Administration and succession certificates for overseas Pakistanis.