People Flocked to the Passport Office in Kabul as It Resumed Issuing Passports

The passport office resumed its work after a month and a half of closure. The process of distributing passports, however, has been challenged by an unprecedented influx of people. Applicants who applied before August 15 are now lining up behind the doors of the Passport Office, ignoring the Passport Office program and disrupting the passport distribution process.

The Passport Office has set a timeline for the registration and applicants are required to apply for their passports through an administrative process. Therefore, some people who go to the due date cannot easily access their passports. Passport officials also say that the influx of passport applicants, regardless of the procedures, has posed a challenge for them. Officials, however, say they will soon address these issues and facilitate the passport distribution process.

On Tuesday, October 5, the Passport Authority announced the resumption of the passport distribution process. Passports are reported to be distributed to registered applicants, patients, government employees on official trips, businessmen, those with invitations and foreign residency, military and civilian casualties, scholarship recipients, and athletes participating in international competitions. Facilitate.

The department has also set up a timeline for clients who have already registered and has asked applicants to visit the department on a specific date. Now, however, people have lined up behind the gates of the Passport Office, regardless of the division of time, and have made it difficult for the Passport Office to go through the administrative process. Some people who have to go back to their specific date say that they have not been able to get their work done due to overcrowding.

Qasim is one of the passport applicants whose fingerprinting was scheduled for August 15, but due to the arrival of the Taliban and the closure of the office, he was unable to complete the administrative work of his passport. Now, according to the division of time announced by the Passport Office, he has to go through the administrative process of his passport on Saturday, October 9.

Qasim says that due to the overcrowding and the influx of people who have not registered at all, he has not even been able to get inside the passport office. Although Qasim arrived at the passport office on the date set by the passport office, the passport office guards did not allow him to enter and said he “had to wait in the middle of the night” for his passport to be processed. Qasim states that it is his turn on Saturday, August 9, and he should not stand in line in the middle of the night to receive his passport.

Ahmed is also a passport applicant. He, who had to finish his passport administrative procedures on August 23, has had his work postponed due to recent upheavals.

“I have to go abroad to continue my studies,” said the passport applicant, who came to the passport department on the due date. “I am going to pursue my studies under an Indian Scholarship and our courses have started. I have just two weeks left to get my passport, but I came today to apply as soon as possible. Now that I see it, it is impossible and I have to go to the appointed time set by the directorate.”

He urges citizens not to disrupt the passport distribution process and to allow the right to be exercised. According to him, with overcrowding, those whose turn has arrived will not be able to access their passports, and this will be causing more problems.

The Taliban, meanwhile, says people have come to the department regardless of the timing. Bilal Karimi, a Taliban spokesman, said that the passport department was distributing passports to all applicants and that people should cooperate with the department. He urged people to maintain order, saying they would soon facilitate the process and establish an order for passport distribution.

With the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, the process of distributing passports has come to a complete halt. This caused problems for the citizens. Some people who were ill or had scholarships complained about the passport office closure. Finally, the Taliban decided to reopen the passport department and began the distribution process. The department has said it will distribute passports to 170,000 registered applicants. Passports, however, are distributed under the name and emblem of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Passport Authority has said that the department has about one million printed booklets and will distribute them to citizens.

Reza Moradi, Hasht-e Subh Persian