Senate wants new ID cards issued before polls
Kabul residents started receiving the new ID cards this month, a process to be initiated in other provinces as well.
A contract for the Finance Ministry-funded project was awarded to Grand Technology Resources (GTR), a local ICT company which has renowned foreign companies such as Hyundai It-South Korea, IRIS-Malaysia and entrust-North America as its partners on Dec. 12, 2010.
On Tuesday, the Senate summoned two interior ministry officials -- deputy interior minister Mirza Mohammad Yarmand and head of the Electronic ID Cards Distribution Department Masoom Farhad --- to explain why the card issuance process has been slow.
The two officials said the distribution process had not been delayed, but it had been slow due to focus on technical issues.
Ali Akbar Jamshedi, who represents central Daikundi province in the Meshrano Jirga, said the new ID cards were crucial to preventing fraud in the presidential and parliamentary elections.
He said the distribution process should be speed up because the cards were to be distributed across the nation ahead of the 2014 ballot.
Another lawmaker Gul Ahmad Azimi from western Farah province said the authorities concerned should keep informed the nation about the issuance of ID cards through media outlets.
Legislator Mohibuddin Munsef asked the interior ministry if it had evolved a security plan to distribute the cards in insecure parts.
Yarmand said nearly 14 million people would be distributed the new cards until 2014, the election year. He added the ministry would take every possible measure to finish the process uninterrupted.
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