Restrictions on the activities of the National Statistics Authority

To get a passport, it is necessary to have an electronic ID card. But the process of registering new applicants for e-ID has not yet begun. Citizens are now urging the Taliban government to issue passports with paper IDs by the time registration and printing of e-IDs begin.

Sadeq Rezaei wants to get a passport for himself and his wife. Rezaei says he does not have an e-ID and now wonders what to do.

After a month and a half, the Passport Office announced on Tuesday, October 5, the resumption of the passport issuance process.

Sadeq Rezaei says that in order to be included in a scholarship, he needs to get a passport. According to him, if the issuance of passports and e-IDs does not start normally for everyone soon, he will miss the opportunity to study abroad.

According to Alamghol Haqqani, head of the passport department, passports are to be issued to registered applicants, patients, government employees on official trips, businessmen, invitation holders and foreigners, military and civilian casualties, scholarship recipients, and athletes to attend international competitions. The department has also posted a timeline on its Facebook page for clients who have already registered, asking the applicants to visit the department on a specific date. According to this division of time, passports will not be distributed to those who are not already registered for less than one and a half months.

About four days ago, the National Bureau of Statistics and Information announced that applicants for e-IDs who had completed their biometrics at several centers before 11 August could receive their IDs. These centers include Karta-e 3, Makroyan I, Karta-e Parvan, Afshar, Cinema Pamir and the second center of Ahmad Shah Baba town.

The authority has so far, only started issuing printed ID cards in a few centers in Kabul. An official in the authority, speaking on the condition of anonymity, claims that most of the department’s employees are not on duty and that it may take months for the activities to return to normal. According to him, if employees do not show up for work, given that the e-ID issuance system is technical, new employees must be trained. The employee of the National Statistics and Information Office expressed hope that the process of applying for the e-ID cards will start soon and the problems of the citizens will be solved.

Taliban Interior Ministry Spokesman Said Khosti said that the issuance of new e-ID cards would begin in the next few days. He did not specify exactly when the department would start operating. Khosti denied that most of the staff were absent and called on all employees of the National Statistics and Information Department to return to their duties.

Sadeq Rezaei is not the only one counting the moments for the resumption of the activities of the National Statistics Office. Thousands of citizens who intend to leave the country due to various needs are also waiting for the resumption of the office. Zulaikha Ahadi plans to go to Pakistan with her husband and a three-year-old daughter. She says that although the flights have resumed, they cannot travel because they do not have a passport. She urgently needs a passport but says she has not been able to get one yet, despite repeated efforts. Zulaikha Ahadi’s family emigrated to Pakistan after the fall of Kabul. Now Zulaikha also wants to go to Pakistan.

The former government’s General Directorate of Passports of the Ministry of Interior affairs decided in May-June to stop the process of issuing and distributing “Computerized Passports” based on paper ID cards. The department had asked people to apply for passports with an e-ID and the passport offices. This decision is still practical and valid.

[box type=”info” align=”alignleft” class=”” width=””]Hussain Haidari, Hasht-e Subh Persian[/box]