Hundreds of suspended employees stage protest in Kabul
KABUL (Pajhwok): Suspended employees of the Electronic ID Card Farms Distribution Department on Sunday held a protest gathering in Kabul, saying if the government did not reinstate their jobs, they would leave the county.
About 1000 employees of the department were asked months ago not to come to their jobs because the international community had suspended aid to the department.
At the time, officials had said the employees would be called back once the ID cards distribution begins.
The Ministry of Interior had said all necessary arrangements were put in place for the issuance of ID card farms, a process to be launched in compliance with directives from the president.
On Sunday, nearly 300 suspended employees held a protest gathering in New Kabul City park and criticized the government for not launching the farms’ distribution process.
They chanted slogans like “job is our right,” “we demand our right,” and “don’t force us into illegal migration.”
One of the protestors, Sadia Saifi, said the ID card farm was “a developed document” for national identity of all Afghans.
But unfortunately, she said, the vital project was politicized and many high educated workers were rendered jobless.
She said if they were not provided jobs, they would be forced into illegal migration to foreign countries and as a result, Afghanistan would lose more skilled workers.
Another protestor, Wali Khan, said: “We are victims of the unity government’s dirty politics. Our demand is that we should no longer be subjected to political games. Job is our right and we should be provided job opportunities.”
He said millions of dollars had been spent on the ID card farms distribution process and the government should not let the investment go in waste.
“The process has no legal problem and if there is any legal problem, it should be solved forthwith because the project should not fall prey to political wrangling.”
After the parliament approved the Census Law last year, some lawmakers, civil society activists and political parties protested against the omission of words “Afghan and “Islam” in the new ID cards.
But some people agreed with the parliamentary decision that the words “Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” on the top of the cards were enough to prove the holder’s nationality and religion. The issue could not be resolved as yet and the ID card farms distribution is yet to be launched.
At Sunday’s protest, the participants issued a resolution letter that said: “The unity government leaders can resolve problems being faced by the ID card project in order to save thousands of people from becoming jobless and to create jobs for many more.”
The resolution asked the unity government leaders not to sacrifice the national interests for personal interests.
The protestors warned if the government did not come with a positive response to their demands, they would continue protesting until their demands were met.
Attempts at seeking comments from the Ministry of Interior in this regard did not succeed.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.