MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Local officials in northern Balkh province say the distribution of electronic identity cards has begun in the province and up to 300 people are registered daily to obtain the document.
Maulvi Mohammad Noor Wasiq, director of the Balkh Statistics Department, told Pajhwok Afghan News the distribution of electronic ID cards had begun four days ago.
He added: “For now, we have opened the first center. We collect the forms from 300 people every day and up to 290 people are biometrically registered daily.”
According to the director of statistics, two more electronic ID distribution centers exist in Mazar-i-Sharif and they are ready to open them following an order from the government leadership.
He emphasized that the distribution of electronic IDs was helping to reduce crime in the community as well as making the government system electronic.
Meanwhile, Mazar-i-Sharif residents are happy over the resumption of distribution of electronic ID cards.
Syed Mohammad, a resident of Mazar-i-Sharif, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he had filled out an electronic ID card for his sick father and handed it over to the ID card office. He was now waiting to be biometrically verified.
“The main advantage of electronic ID is that there is no need to verify it when you apply for passport,” he said.
Dr Ghulam Rasool Malikzai, a social worker in Balkh, said the government should speed up the distribution of electronic IDs.
He told Pajhwok that the number of applicants for electronic IDs in Mazar-i-Sharif now exceeds 1,000, but the statistics department has the capacity to receive only 300 forms a day.
According to him, if the remaining two electronic ID centers are made operational, it will be more convenient for people.
He also demanded that priority be given to patients, students and businessmen abroad in the distribution of electronic ID cards.
After the fall of the previous government, the distribution of electronic ID cards in all provinces of Afghanistan was stopped. But recently the process resumed in many provinces, including the capital Kabul.