Muscat: Pakistan’s ambassador to Oman, Ali Javed, announced that the Pakistan embassy will introduce three new WhatsApp numbers early next week.
These WhatsApp numbers will assist in solving queries from Pakistani expats in the Sultanate, the envoy said. He added that the numbers would address a variety of issues.
“One of these numbers will cater to issues such as deaths, accidents and the like. The second one would deal with destitute citizens in need of help and those facing trouble at work, etc.
“Another number will deal with passports, national identity cards, birth certificates, attestations, transfers, etc,” the ambassador said.
He added that use of the Apps is intended to ease cumbersome bureaucratic procedures.
He noted that since the official WhatsApp broadcast of the embassy’s previous official number, it had gathered over 30,000 followers.
However, this number was meant for broadcast only and not for queries. So, the embassy decided to launch three new numbers for queries.
“We conceived this idea as a broadcast. We did not wish to make it an interactive WhatsApp because then other followers would post queries and people would become distracted. So, we have now decided to dedicate three new WhatsApp numbers for this purpose,” Javed said.
“It’s very difficult to keep in touch with all queries with two telephone lines or the ambassador’s direct number, when the size of the community is a quarter of a million and there are many people who need urgent help. So these new numbers will help,” he added.
The ambassador said that Pakistani expats who could not afford internet and smartphones could use the embassy’s text message service.
“The people who do not have the luxury to pay OMR5 for an internet pack can send an SMS to the ambassador’s number. These messages are received by my office and I personally respond to the queries,” he said.
“Pakistan embassy’s WhatsApp broadcast was begun last year. I’m proud to say we have 13,000 voluntary subscribers to our WhatsApp group and 12,000 subscribers to our e-mail.
“Last night, I circulated news of this interview to our 25,000 followers. The response we have received from our people is very heartwarming. This encourages me to give something back to our people, here in Oman,” he added.
Javed notes, “I would like to praise the efforts of the Pakistan Oman Investment Company (Pak-Oman). It was established back in 2001 when His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said visited Pakistan. He had a vision of setting up a company that would act as a vehicle of investments between the two nations. It deals mostly in micro-financing.
“Yahya Jabri, who is the chairman of this company, has done great work. The company’s assets are now worth US$600 million.”
Moreover, the Pakistan ambassador expressed hope that a ferry from Gwadar to Oman would soon become a reality, noting that the two governments were working together to begin the service.