Hundreds rally in Paktia over e-ID cards issue
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Hundreds of residents on Wednesday rallied in southeastern Paktia province demanding the word “Afghan” to be mentioned in the biometric national identity cards.
A test distribution drive of the electronic ID cards was expected on August 19, but it was postponed indefinitely by the Presidential Palace amid political wrangling.
Hundreds of residents, including provincial council members, tribal elders, and civil society activists held a rally in Gardez, the capital of Paktia, and asked the government to write word “Afghan” in the ID cards.
Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai, a civil society activist, said: “Our demand should be met. It is not too late now to mention the word “Afghan” in electronic identity cards.”
He warned if their demands went unheard, Paktia residents would create trouble during the ID cards’ distribution process.
Taj Mohammad Mangal, a member of the provincial council, told Pajhwok Afghan News it was in line with the Constitution to write the word “Afghan in the cards, citing Article four of the Constitution that states: “The word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan.”
Ahmadzai said if the word “Afghan” was omitted, it would have bad consequences and would put the country on the path to disintegration. “This is not going to be our last rally. After this, we will extend the campaign to villages.”
Mohammad Yousuf, another protester, said: “We don’t want an identity-less Tazkira. If the word “Afghan” is not in it, we don’t need it.”
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