The CEO of the National Unity Government (NUG) Abdullah Abdullah on Thursday held a press conference and said the electronic ID card system was not legitimate and did not have the support of the Afghan people.
“The reason I have not participated in distribution of electronic Tazkiras is that I know this process has not received the needed legitimacy and support from the Afghan people. A one sided decision that has been approved by all sides can only lead to crisis and more problems,” Abdullah said.
His comments came just hours after the electronic national ID card system was officially launched in Kabul when President Ashraf Ghani and the First Lady Rula Ghani were handed their cards.
“I want to say that national processes in Afghanistan need nation level consultations. Whether it is election or the process of distribution of Electronic Tazkiras,” Abdullah said, adding that “I have always kept national interests of the Afghan people on top. Issues that challenge national interest and the stability in Afghanistan must be consulted. My decisions have always been in accordance to the national interest and the will of the Afghan people.”
“We should also prioritize our work. Today the Afghan people need better security and services from the government, not issues that can challenge our collective effort for peace and stability,” he said.
Abdullah mentioned that the “electronic Tazkira was an issue that people had concerns with. This issue was discussed in the Afghan Parliament and there were concerns with many in the parliament and out of government structure.”
"I as an Afghan am proud of my identity as a Muslim and Afghan. I know there are individuals and groups that are preaching the message that I am against certain words being mentioned in E-Tazkira. This is completely false," he added.
He noted that at a time when half of the Afghan people cannot access registration centers for Electronic Tazkiras, we come with an idea of distributing it which leads to additional problems countrywide. It is not a national achievement.
This process of distribution of Electronic Tazkiras does not have the needed recognition. This step doesn't only have problems of recognition but, can lead to further chaos and problems in country.
He said that the reason I have not participated in distribution of electronic Tazkiras is that I know this process has not received the needed legitimacy and support from the Afghan people. A one-sided decision that has been approved by all sides can only lead to crisis and more problems.
He said that: “We have serious security issues throughout the country. Right now, there is an attack going on against the Afghan Forces Dai Chupan of Zabul and we have lost soldiers. That should be our priority to reach out to them, not something that can divide the nation.”
On electoral reforms, Abdullah said that: “We at the National Unity Government agreed on starting electoral reforms two weeks after inauguration of the NUG but, this vital process started with a delay of at least one year. That put us behind timelines and stopped us from acting upon our promises with the Afghan People.”
“I see no one in country that can answer me on why this process of electoral reforms started with a delay. We would have less problems if we were to hold elections two years ago. This could be an effort that could lessen our problems today,” he said.
“I would once again declare that all the national processes which are not being consulted within the National Unity Government and with the people of Afghanistan are not legitimate and I will not be part of those processes,” stressed.
“This issue of Electronic Tazkiras was discussed across the country. People had legitimate concerns but, no attention was paid to these legitimate concerns which is an unpleasant discussion and could lead country to crisis,” he added.
The dispute over the electronic national ID card system – or eNIC as it is known – has been ongoing since Ghani took office in 2015.
After the controversial presidential elections, Ghani promised to introduce a new identity document that would make it impossible to forge.
But the eNIC system has been delayed for years and has caused many debates and disputes over certain words used including the word Afghan as the nationality for all of Afghanistan’s citizens.