A joint commission of Afghanistan’s national assembly on Monday approved the recent decree by President Ashraf Ghani on the inclusion of nationality and ethnicity in the new electronic identity cards (e-NIC).
The endorsement has brought to an end the months of controversy over the much-awaited process.
Abdul Hai Akhundzada, head of the Senate's defense committee and member of the joint commission has called on the e-NIC department to swiftly start the rolling out process to the people of Afghanistan.
In October, Officials from the Population Registration Office and electronic National Identity Cards (e-NIC) announced that the new e-NIC will contain nationality and ethnicity information and that they will start the roll out process soon.
This comes after members of the Wolesi Jirga (the Lower House of Parliament) had rejected President Ashraf Ghani’s legislative decree to amend the population registration law that said the nationality and ethnicity information should be included in e-NIC.
Following the disagreements on the issue, a sixteen-member joint commission of the parliament was formed to debate on the presidential decree on the e-NIC.
“The decree was approved by the twelve members present. Nationality and ethnicity will now be included on the ID cards,” said Akhundzada.
“We were able to approve the decree with nine members attending, but today twelve of the members were present. We now call on the on the population registration department to kick off the rolling out process of the electronic identity cards,” said a member of join committee, Hashim Alokozai.
Some other MPs, however, rejected motives behind the rejection of Ghani’s order.
“From the political perspective, the inclusion of nationality increases the differences,” said MP Assadullah Saadati.
Afghan people have always said the electronic National Identity Cards should be rolled-out without considering any political perspectives from being factored in, nor should there be any political interference.