The Passport Directorate in Afghanistan Is Closed, But People Need Passports

Although the Taliban cabinet has been announced and officials have begun their work, the Passport Directorate has not been reopened. This has made passport applicants anxious. Some of these applicants say they have patients and need to be travel abroad for treatment. They call on the Taliban to start issuing passports as soon as possible so that citizens can solve their problems. At the same time, with repeated efforts, we have not been able to get a response from the Taliban. The Passport Authority, however, has said that the Taliban have not yet decided on how to open the passport and how to distribute it.

After the collapse of the previous government, the operations of all government departments were suspended. This includes the passport department. The Taliban made the resumption of public services conditional on the formation of a cabinet and the announcement of a government. Now, despite the announcement of a caretaker cabinet, the Passport Department and a number of key institutions have not yet formally begun their work. These irregularities, however, have created problems for the citizens. A number of citizens who are ill or who intend to do business abroad are waiting for the passport office to open. So far, however, the agency has not made it clear when it will resume it operation.

Mohammad Rasool is a citizen living in Kabul who has been waiting for a long time for the passport office to open. He says his father is ill and needs to go abroad for treatment. According to him, the treatment he has received so far has not been effective in recovering his father, and doctors have recommended that he go to India or Pakistan for treatment. Rasool now says that he could not take his father abroad for treatment because he did not have a passport.

“I’m very concerned about his condition,” he said. “I may not be able to treat my father if the Passport Department does not start its work promptly.” Rasool expresses his concerns by calling on the Taliban to start distributing passports as soon as possible. “Many others like me are waiting to have their passports issued to transport their patients abroad for treatment,” he says.

Ahmed is another passport applicant. He also needs a passport to treat a family member abroad. Ahmed states that he has been waiting for the opening of this department for a month now. According to him, although the acting cabinet has been announced, the passport department has not yet started its work. He called on the Taliban to do something for the department so that people can address their problems promptly. According to him, if the process of distributing passports is not resumed, dozens of patients will not be treated.

On the other hand, a number of citizens had applied for passports before the Taliban came to power, but their passports have not been distributed since the fall of the previous government. Jamshid is one of those who applied for a passport before the fall of the previous government, but has not yet been able to obtain one. “I have proceeded with all passport formalities,” he says. “I was supposed to get my passport a month ago, but I don’t think it was printed that specific day.”

“The next day I wanted to go and get my passport, but the Taliban arrived in Kabul and the offices were closed,” he says. “When I visited the post office, I was told to wait.”

We also wanted to know the Taliban’s views on this issue, but with repeated calls to their spokespersons, we were unable to get a response.

On the other hand, in recent days, there have been rumors of passports being issued after the fall of the previous government. The Passport Authority, however, has denied the rumors, saying that no passports have been distributed since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. However, the directorate has stated that if a passport is issued after this date, the border authorities will deal seriously with its holders and introduce them to the judiciary. On the other hand, the General Directorate of Passports has pointed out that no decision has been made yet on the distribution of passports. The department has asked people not to go to the passport department and instead follow the news on this issue. According to the passport department, they will inform applicants through the media whenever the distribution process begins.