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  1. ITV Report

Chaotic queues at Birmingham Pakistani High Commission

For many British Pakistanis, frequent trips to Pakistan are an essential part of family life. But to go there they need a visa or an identity card, available only from one of the country's consulates.

The office in Birmingham is the only one within reach for hundreds of thousands of people. But ITV News Central has been contacted by one viewer who told us of a shambolic, chaotic queuing system that often leaves would-be visitors standing in the street for up to nine hours at a time.

Paperwork needed. Patience exhausted. Tempers often boil over at the Pakistani High Commision in Birmingham, where hundreds of thousands queue for travel documents each year. For hours - days, sometimes - they wait - and often go home empty handed.

The people waiting need visas or identity cards to visit Pakistan and this is the only place between London and Manchester to get them.

With a hundred and sixty eight rupees to the pound, local MP Shabana Mahmood says the government there has every reason to make life easier for British Pakistanis wanting to visit.

With the political situation in Pakistan deteriorating, the Foreign Office advises against travel to large parts of the country. According to these would-be visitors, simply queuing for a visa is dangerous enough.

ITV News has been asking the Consulate for an interview since yesterday; we approached officials here again today. Their response? Come back tomorrow.