Protests over e-ID cards issue spread to Ghazni
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Residents of southern Ghazni province on Sunday joined anti-government protest demonstrations to push for adding the words “Afghan” and “Islam” to the biometric national identity cards.
Earlier, similar protests have been carried out in Kabul, Nangarhar, Kunar, Balkh, Paktika and some other provinces, in which hundreds and thousands of people have taken part.
The launch of a test ID cards distribution drive was put on hold by President Ashraf Ghani amid differences with the Chief Executive Office over some unsettled issues.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology spokesman Nusrat Rahimi had said the president wanted to settle the unsettled issues linked to the new ID cards before launching the process.
Earlier, the CEO’s office had said the distribution of computerised national identity cards would begin in two weeks.
The cards issuance was earlier scheduled to begin before last year’s presidential election, but it had to be delayed for some reasons.
The distribution drive is a joint venture of the ministries of interior and telecommunications and information technology. A contract for the project was signed five years ago.
On Saturday, thousands of people coming from various parts of Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, gathered at the Firdousdsi Square on the Kabul-Balkh highway. The protestors included Pashtun, Uzbek, Hazara, Sadat and other tribesmen.
Elsewhere, thousands of people in eastern Kunar province took to the streets, calling for the addition of “Afghan and Islam” in the new ID cards.
Led by members of the provincial council, the protest gathering was attended by tribal elders, religious scholars, youth and civil society activists.
The demonstration began at 8am in the morning and continued until 11am. One of the organizers, Senator Rafiullah Haideri, told Pajhwok Afghan News the people of Kunar wanted the government to enforce the Article Second and Fourth of the Constitution across the country.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.