Nearly a million Afghans issued e-passports: Saboor
KABUL (Pajhwok): The passport department chief on Thursday said around 900,000 electronic passports had been issued to people during the past two years.
Sayed Omar Saboor told a special ceremony marking the activation of a demo version for online passport service in Kabul that around 2,000 people in Kabul and 1,000 in provinces received passports on a daily basis.
He said people could receive passports through postal services by paying 200 afghanis in Kabul and 500 afghanis in provinces, but post offices still faced problems because most of streets and roads had not been named or numbered.
Saboor said the passport department had launched a test online service for 100 days and people could fill passport forms online and refer them to the passport department only for registering their biometric information.
But he added the lack of smooth power supply and people’s access to the internet remained main problems in the online registration process.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, who participated in the ceremony and filled out an online passport form, called the process an effective move by the passport department.
“It is a reality that we are lagging behind the world in development, but I am sure we can achieve this progress within a short time while other countries spent many years to reach development,” Abdullah said.
The CEO said issuing electronic passports would also help reduce corruption, which he called a serious issue in the country.
Abdullah appreciated the passport department’s performance and asked the Ministry of Interior (MoI) to provide better facilities to the department to enable it to easily issue passports.
MoI Minister Noorul Haq UlUmi said the electronic passport system in Afghanistan was of international standard and could help reduce fraud and corruption.
He said the MoI had discharged its responsibilities in a proper manner with regard to issuing passports and would continue to bring about fundamental reforms to other areas of the government.
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