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Sadats Boycott e-NIC As Ethnicity Has Been Omitted

Sadat tribal elders on Tuesday refused to apply for the new Electronic National Identity Card (e-NIC) and said they would boycott the system until government addresses their concerns about the exclusion of some ethnicities, including Sadats, into the e-NIC database. 

“A young man came, I think he was a registration officer, and said that so far, no order has been issued from the president about other ethnicities and asked me to choose one ethnicity, then I said that ethnicity can’t be selective,” said Jawed. 

Currently only 14 ethnicities are listed in Afghanistan’s Constitution – upon which the e-NIC system is based. 

It is believed there are at least 20 ethnicities in the country in total.  

But e-NIC officials have said people from the ethnic groups not listed must choose from one of the existing 14 ethnicities, mentioned in the Constitution, when applying for their ID cards.  

“Anyone who consults us for electronic identity cards, they must choose one ethnicity from among 14 ethnicities based on the database,” said e-NIC spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai. 

Sayed Mohammad Ali Jawed, chairman of the joint commission of tribes and head of Harakat-e-Islami Azad-e-Afghanistan party has also refused to apply for his e-NIC. He also said this was because his ethnicity was not listed. 

Meanwhile, Sayed Eshaq Gailani, head of Nahzat-e-Hambastagi Milli Islami party of Afghanistan has threatened to boycott the roll out until amendments have been made.  

“I hope that this issue does not become a major headache, but we will not compromise on our identities as Sadat, as Bayat, as Qarluq as Khalili,” said Gailani.

“This is a complete injustice and a major inequality,” said Sayed Khalilullah Anwari, chairman of Harakat-e-Islami Afghanistan party. 

The e-NIC section for ethnicities has been based on Article 4 of the Constitution which states:

“National sovereignty in Afghanistan shall belong to the nation, manifested directly and through its elected representatives. The nation of Afghanistan is composed of all individuals who possess the citizenship of Afghanistan. The nation of Afghanistan shall be comprised of Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkman, Baluch, Pachaie, Nuristani, Aymaq, Arab, Qirghiz, Qizilbash, Gujur, Brahwui and other tribes. The word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan. No individual of the nation of Afghanistan shall be deprived of citizenship. The citizenship and asylum related matters shall be regulated by law.”

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani, First Lady Rula Ghani and Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish were among the first applicants whose names were entered into the database last week.  

Officials from e-NIC on Monday said the process will be carried out in line with Ghani’s orders, which has sparked a backlash as many people feel this is in contravention to the law ratified on the issue in 2015.

So far over 400 families have completed their applications, including the biometric process, said officials.

But in response, officials from one of Afghanistan’s mainstream opposition alliances, the Coalition to Rescue Afghanistan, expressed their reservations over Ghani’s move, suggesting that e-NIC must be rolled out in line with the law ratified in 2015.

Based on a presidential decree, the new identity cards will contain the nationality and ethnicity of each person. However, these two controversial words had been omitted from the cards in the law previously ratified in 2015.

Despite listing only 14 ethnicities, the Constitution states in Article 6 that the state is responsible for ensuring equality among all people and tribes and balance development of all areas of the country. 

“The state shall be obligated to create a prosperous and progressive society based on social justice, preservation of human dignity, protection of human rights, realization of democracy, attainment of national unity as well as equality between all peoples and tribes and balance development of all areas of the country.”

Sadats Boycott e-NIC As Ethnicity Has Been Omitted

Sadat tribal elders said on Tuesday they will not apply for new ID cards, until all tribes have been included in the e-NIC database.

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Sadat tribal elders on Tuesday refused to apply for the new Electronic National Identity Card (e-NIC) and said they would boycott the system until government addresses their concerns about the exclusion of some ethnicities, including Sadats, into the e-NIC database. 

“A young man came, I think he was a registration officer, and said that so far, no order has been issued from the president about other ethnicities and asked me to choose one ethnicity, then I said that ethnicity can’t be selective,” said Jawed. 

Currently only 14 ethnicities are listed in Afghanistan’s Constitution – upon which the e-NIC system is based. 

It is believed there are at least 20 ethnicities in the country in total.  

But e-NIC officials have said people from the ethnic groups not listed must choose from one of the existing 14 ethnicities, mentioned in the Constitution, when applying for their ID cards.  

“Anyone who consults us for electronic identity cards, they must choose one ethnicity from among 14 ethnicities based on the database,” said e-NIC spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai. 

Sayed Mohammad Ali Jawed, chairman of the joint commission of tribes and head of Harakat-e-Islami Azad-e-Afghanistan party has also refused to apply for his e-NIC. He also said this was because his ethnicity was not listed. 

Meanwhile, Sayed Eshaq Gailani, head of Nahzat-e-Hambastagi Milli Islami party of Afghanistan has threatened to boycott the roll out until amendments have been made.  

“I hope that this issue does not become a major headache, but we will not compromise on our identities as Sadat, as Bayat, as Qarluq as Khalili,” said Gailani.

“This is a complete injustice and a major inequality,” said Sayed Khalilullah Anwari, chairman of Harakat-e-Islami Afghanistan party. 

The e-NIC section for ethnicities has been based on Article 4 of the Constitution which states:

“National sovereignty in Afghanistan shall belong to the nation, manifested directly and through its elected representatives. The nation of Afghanistan is composed of all individuals who possess the citizenship of Afghanistan. The nation of Afghanistan shall be comprised of Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkman, Baluch, Pachaie, Nuristani, Aymaq, Arab, Qirghiz, Qizilbash, Gujur, Brahwui and other tribes. The word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan. No individual of the nation of Afghanistan shall be deprived of citizenship. The citizenship and asylum related matters shall be regulated by law.”

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani, First Lady Rula Ghani and Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish were among the first applicants whose names were entered into the database last week.  

Officials from e-NIC on Monday said the process will be carried out in line with Ghani’s orders, which has sparked a backlash as many people feel this is in contravention to the law ratified on the issue in 2015.

So far over 400 families have completed their applications, including the biometric process, said officials.

But in response, officials from one of Afghanistan’s mainstream opposition alliances, the Coalition to Rescue Afghanistan, expressed their reservations over Ghani’s move, suggesting that e-NIC must be rolled out in line with the law ratified in 2015.

Based on a presidential decree, the new identity cards will contain the nationality and ethnicity of each person. However, these two controversial words had been omitted from the cards in the law previously ratified in 2015.

Despite listing only 14 ethnicities, the Constitution states in Article 6 that the state is responsible for ensuring equality among all people and tribes and balance development of all areas of the country. 

“The state shall be obligated to create a prosperous and progressive society based on social justice, preservation of human dignity, protection of human rights, realization of democracy, attainment of national unity as well as equality between all peoples and tribes and balance development of all areas of the country.”

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