KABUL): A modern system of machine-readable passports and visas, meeting international standards, was put in place in Kabul on Sunday.
With countrywide implementation of the new regime, hand-written passports would stand invalidated, said Syed Nasir Hashimi, the Passport Department head at the Ministry of Interior.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, he said: “The new system aims to prevent the misuse of passports and visas and provide quick services…”
The project had been initiated in 2006 with financial support from the Australian government and the International Organisation for Migration, he said, adding the department was ready to issue the new passports.
Australian Ambassador Jon Philp called the project’s completion a major achievement for Afghanistan. His country had provided $7 million for the purpose, he said.
Deputy Minister of Interior Mirza Mohammad Yarmand acknowledged the misuse and forgery of sensitive documents due to decades of war that had damaged state institutions.