The central passport department in Kabul has halted operations for an unknown period of time, the department said on Saturday.
The reason for the stopped operations has yet to be clarified.
“The activities of the passport department are stopped until next announcement. Of course the passport departments are opened in the provinces,” said Shafiqullah Tasal, press director for the passport department in Kabul. “We call on the citizens to not come to the office until the distribution of passports has resumed.”
But the closure of the passport department faced criticism by Kabul residents, who called on the Islamic Emirate to resume operations soon.
“Everyone should be allowed to receive a passport. It doesn’t work like this--open one day and closed another day,” said Zubair, a resident of Kabul.
“The department was just opened for one week and it is now again closed. Why do they do it?” said Saifullah, a resident.
After a long delay, the Kabul passport department had earlier resumed operations for at least one week but the officials announced on Saturday that the passport-issuing office would be closed in Kabul.
However, the provincial passport departments are still opened. On Friday, the head of the Kabul passport department also announced that the applicants could fill online forms to receive the passport.
“I have a patient and thousands of other problems. We call on the officials to immediately open the distribution process,” said Safi, a resident of Kabul.
Last week, an attacker who sought to enter the passport department in Kabul was shot dead by the Islamic Emirate forces.