Controversial e-ID cards touch off protest in Farah
FARAH CITY (Pajhwok): Hundreds of people on Wednesday took to the streets in western Farah province to protest the omission of words “Afghan and Islam” from the biometric national identity cards.
The protestors, who included provincial council members, civil society activists and local residents, asked the government not to omit the two words as part of a plot hatched by spies of foreign countries and consider the public demand.
The rally emerged on the main road in Farah City, the provincial capital, at 9am. One of the organizers, Naqib Naikmal, a teacher at a higher education institute, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the protest rally was aimed at calling on the unity government that they were Afghans and had a history spanning over 5000 years.
He said some spy circles through their agents or using money had been trying to question the national identity of Afghans and put the country on the path to disintegration, but the aware masses of Farah would not let them succeed in their nefarious designs.
“It is our demand that Islam and Afghan are our red lines and without them if an office is opened to distribute ID cards, we will put that on fire,” he warned.
Civil society activist Ziauddin Shiwani said the people of Farah would not accept ID cards if the two words were not mentioned in them and would not allow their issuance.
“If we are a true democracy, the government should consider people’s demands and should not force them into agitation anymore,” he said.
Farah provincial council chief Farid Bakhtwar, who joined the protest rally, told Pajhwok Afghan News the president should listen to the voices of the nation and write Islam and Afghan in the ID cards. “Not a single Afghan is ready accept an identity-less card.”
The rally lasted one hour and ended with the release of a resolution letter.
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