Senate decision sparks protest in Jalalabad
JALALABAD (PAN): Dozens of people, including civil society activists and public representatives, on Thursday staged a protest rally in the capital of eastern Nangarhar province against not mentioning words Afghan and religion in new computerized national identity cards.
The protest rally at the Pakhtunistan Square in Jalalabad came two days after the Meshrano Jirga or upper house of the parliament decided against mentioning the word Afghan and religion in the ID cards.
Nangarhar council member, Zabihullah Zamarai, who took part in the demonstration, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Senate decision was not acceptable.
“We are Muslims and Afghans. If the cards lack these two words, we can lose our identity. Are we Punjabis or Russians?,” he asked.
The public representative claimed most senators were illiterate and they knew nothing about human rights, saying the decision to drop religion and nationality from the ID cards was not in the interest of Afghans.
Sibghatullah Hanafi, who heads civil society group “Bashaoor Afghan” said their protest was against the Meshrano Jirga’s decision, which he said was not acceptable under any circumstances.
He said some lawmakers had approved the decision to promote their own interests. “Those who have favoured the decision should be tried,” said Hanafi, who warned they would not participate in the April elections if the decision was not reversed.
Ending the rally, the protestors through a five-article resolution warned they would not obtain the computerized cards if they did not carry the words Afghan and Islam. They asked the upper house to reverse its decision; otherwise they would continue to protest.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.