Afghanistan to resume issuance of passports, ID cards after months of delay
The new administration in Afghanistan, led by the Taliban, has decided to start issuing passports to its citizens starting Tuesday, according to news agency Reuters. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid took to Twitter to inform about the decision related to the issuance of passports.
"Council of ministers of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in its meeting on Monday instructed the Ministry of Interior to resume the issuance of passport and Tazkira or national ID card," Mujahid tweeted.
The issuance of passports and national identity cards were halted after the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, hampering the plans of many Afghan citizens to flee the war-torn country in the wake of the return of Sunni Pashtun militants to power after two decades.
The process had slowed even before the Taliban's return since the bloody conflict between the Afghan defence forces and the insurgents disrupted most of the government services. According to an official, the applicants will be provided with documents physically identical to those issued by the previous government, reported Reuters.
Alam Gul Haqqani, acting head of the passport office, said that between 5,000 and 6,000 passports will be issued every day. The official stressed that women employees will process the passports meant for female citizens, underlining the Taliban's plan to strictly enforce gender segregation as per their harsh interpretation of Sharia law.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan's interior ministry spokesperson Qari Sayeed Khosti informed a media briefing that 25,000 applicants are in the final stage of payment for their passports. About 100,000 applications are pending in the earlier stages of the process, reported Reuters citing the spokesperson.
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