MPs allege corruption in issuance of passports
“There is widespread corruption in the issuance of passports,” a lawmaker from central Dikundi province, Nasratullah Sadiqi Nilizada, said, adding that the increasing demand for passports had paved the way for corruption.
For example, the lawmaker said he took the application of his constituent for obtaining passport and officials at the passport department said the passport would be issued to him in 10 days. “But my constituent paid $200 in bribe and he grabbed his passport in two days.”
“I feel ashamed. They sought 15 days time to issue the passport to my supporter, but after two days, my supporter came and showed me the passport he got in two days by paying $100 to the passport office employees,” another lawmaker from Balkh, Maulvi Abdul Rahman Rahmani, said.
“It is our duty to monitor them. Corruption has reached the peak. The people who have money can get passports in no time, but what should the poor people do when they want to go with their patients aboard and go for education to a foreign country,’ he asked, urging the house Administrative Board to appoint a delegation to investigate the process of passport issuance.
First deputy speaker Haji Zahir Qadir, who presided over the session, tasked the house commission on internal security to urgently assess the issue and share its findings in a general session of the Wolesi Jirga.
However, the passport department head, Brig. Gen. Syed Omar Saboor, strongly rejected the claims as baseless, saying that people claiming corruption should present evidence in support of their claims.
“Approach and interference from some officials prevent maintaining equality in the process. Recommending people is also a kind of corruption which deprives the needy and sick people of their right to get the passport in-time,” he said.
“If you stop recommending specific persons, the equality would be ensured and each applicant would get the passport in the stipulated time,” he said while addressing the MPs.
He said President Ghani had also insisted on filling online forms to prevent corruption and that they would import 10 more printers and a million passport copies in order to accelerate the issuance process.
He said currently they issued 1,500 passports on a daily basis, but with the import of new equipment and hiring 50 more employees, the number of passports to be issued per day would reach 3,000.
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