Afghanistan launches new electronic ID cards amid hiccups

Kabul: The Afghan government on Thursday officially launched the distribution process of electronic identity cards. But the first to criticize it was the country’s CEO Abdullah Abdullah.

“We mark another historic day, and I am pleased to announce the distribution of e-Tazkiras (identity cards) by becoming the first Afghan to receive it,” President Ashraf Ghani was quoted as saying by the Radio and Television of Afghanistan (RTA).

Ghani said the e-Tazkira would help Afghan government to further promote good governance, economic planning and provide best public services to all citizens as well.

The rollout of the new system was in line with attempts to tighten security, he said, adding that the new ID cards would hopefully cut down on the number of fake IDs in the country, Tolo News reported.

“One of the key reasons why we have started this process is because of Monday’s terrorist attacks. It is very possible that the attackers used fake IDs. The key decision for me is the security of the people and we must know who are Afghans,” Ghani said.

However, Abdullah Abdullah said that the new biometric ID card process did not have the support of the Afghan people.

“This process has not received the needed legitimacy and support from the Afghan people… At a time when half of the Afghan people cannot access registration centres for Electronic Tazkiras, we come with an idea of distributing it which leads to additional problems countrywide. It is not a national achievement.”