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    14m Afghans to get computerised ID cards in a year

    KABUL (PAN): Up to 14 million Afghan citizens would be issued computerised national identity cards within one year, an official announced on Sunday.

    A contract for the project costing $120.9 million was signed on Dec. 12, 2010 between the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology and an IT firm called General Technology Resources (GTR).

    Deputy Interior Minister Mirza Mohammad Yarman told a press conference issuance of the ID cards would commence in March at 54 registration centres in Kabul.

    After the completion of registration in the capital, the process would be expanded to zones and central provinces. Fourteen million Afghans would be issued with the cards in a year, he said.

    “The cards have been designed in a way to show the holder’s identity,” the deputy minister added.

    Also present at the news briefing was a senior Information Technology Ministry official, who said the card could be copied, but the holder’s fingerprints and eye scans would be saved in the central database to prevent forgery.

    Director of Information Technology (IT) Aimal Marjan said information would be written on the front page of the card in Pashto and Dari while details on the back side information would be in English.

    myn/mud