Residents in northern Badakhshan province have threatened civil action in protest against government’s move to roll out the Electronic Identify Card (e-NIC) system.
At a gathering in the provincial capital Faiz Abad on Monday, residents expressed their strong opposition to the move and asked government to end the process.
The Burhanuddin Rabbani-era national anthem was played at the gathering, which was attended by over 2,000 residents.
“I would like to announce to (President Ashraf) Ghani that if he does not stop it (e-NIC rollout) and does not bring changes and does not respect the demands of Majlis (parliament) and does not surrender to justice, I warn that we will fight for an independent and sovereign Badakhshan,” said Latif Pedram, an MP.
“Tazkira (ID card) will further fuel tension, war and violence between the people,” said Abdullah Naji Nazar, a member of the Badakhshan provincial council.
Participants at the gathering said that the continuation of the e-NIC rollout has been adding to the ongoing woes of the country on the security front.
“The country of Afghanistan has various ethnicities with different ideas, who have the right to live here and their rights must be protected,” said a resident of Badakhshan, Ismail Sami.
The electronic national ID card system was officially launched in Kabul on 3 May when Ghani and the First Lady Rula Ghani were handed their cards.
The CEO of the National Unity Government (NUG) Abdullah Abdullah later held a press conference and said the electronic ID card system was not legitimate and did not have the support of the Afghan people.
Officials from Afghanistan Central Civil Registration Authority (ACCRA) last week said that the body is expected to open an Electronic Identity Card (e-NIC) distribution center in Kabul in the near future.
Although a nationwide roll out of e-NIC will take time, ACCRA is committed to speeding up the roll-out process across the country, said e-NIC spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai.
According to ACCRA, the electronic identity cards will be issued in six phases. The first phase will take six months and the ID cards will be issued at five centers in Kabul. The next phase will entail ID cards being issued in the provinces.