The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) says some foreign and domestic circles don’t want electronic national identity cards to be distributed.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, the ministry spokesman, Nasrat Rahimi, said differences over mentioning the words Afghan and religion in the cards have been resolved with approval of the population census law by parliament.
All preparations for distribution of the cards have been completed and the cards would be started issuing in a month’s time with approval from President Karzai.
Rahimi said the ministry in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior was scheduled to start distributing the computerised ID cards a year ago, but some problems prevented the ministry from doing so.
“One hurdle in distributing the ID cards had been American forces, who did not want Afghanistan to have such advanced ID cards and the second hurdle was some domestic circles,” he alleged.
He did not name anyone who had been creating problems in distribution of the cards. He said the ministry had been able to go ahead with the plan thanks to direct support of the president.
Differences over the ID cards in the parliament had been another problem delaying the process, he said. “The approval of the population law took several months due to the differences which delayed the distribution of the electronic ID cards,” he added.
The Ministry of Justice sent the population census law, having 39 articles, to the Wolesi Jirga in April last year.
Aimed at preventing fraud in electronic ID cards, the law was approved by the Meshrano Jirga on July 15, 2013.
The upper house did not recommend mentioning nationality and religion in the cards, an issue later raised by some members of the lower house.
Finally, a joint commission of both houses approved the two words to be mentioned in the cards.
The distribution of the cards was set to be started in April, but the programme was canceled due to various reasons.
The new ID cards would unable the MCIT to devise an effective strategy on how to improve security by gathering accurate statistics of the country’s population.