Advisory jirga proposed to resolve rifts over e-ID cards
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Civil Societies’ Network on Thursday suggested an advisory Jirga be held to resolve differences over the electronic ID cards and whether the word “Afghan” should be mentioned in them.
The Population Registration Bill was approved last year by parliament and ratified by the president, but some lawmakers, civil society organisations and political parties demand the word “Afghan” be included in biometric identity cards.
Others are of the view that “Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” has already been mentioned on the cards and it conveyed the message that the holders are Afghans.
A test distribution drive of the electronic ID cards was expected to begin on August 19, but it was postponed indefinitely by the Presidential Palace amid political wrangling.
Hamida Wardak, a member of the Civil Societies Network, told journalists in Kabul: “An advisory jirga, to be attended by all political parties, ethnic groups, public representatives, should convene to decide on whether the word Afghan should be included in the cards.”
She said writing the word “Afghan” was not the only challenge in the way of distributing the cards. Without going into details, she alleged, lack of political will and foreign interference were among other challenges.
“If the distribution process of electronic ID cards does not begin soon, apart from financial losses worth millions of dollars to the international community, skilled employees of the department would also be gone and we would witness unfair and non-transparent elections,” she remarked.
“Demands of few groups and individuals should not be the issue here. It is a national process and the decision should be taken at the national level,” Wardak said, adding if political differences were resolved the process did not have any technical or logistical issues.
Yahya Bamyani, another member of the network, said: “People do not agree with laws 100 percent in any part of the world. The Population Registration Act has been ratified and if anyone opposes it, then all ethnic groups should be given the chance to express their views.”
The network also issued a statement, saying the national process should not be taken hostage and it was not to the benefit of the Afghan people.
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