Officials from Afghanistan Central Civil Registration Authority (ACCRA) on Tuesday said that the body is expected to open an Electronic Identity Card (e-NIC) distribution center in Kabul in the coming days.
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.
But, a number of lawmakers in Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament), at a gathering in Kabul, have declared the roll-out process of e-NIC as illegal, saying that it will create division among the ethnic groups in Afghanistan.
“Please do not divide us because of your selfishness, people are equal and they live like brothers, we call on government to stop the delivery of ID cards,” said MP Zaheer Saadat.
“Continuation of this job will create a crisis, we call on the international community to address this issue,” said Jawed Kohistani, a political analyst.
This comes at a time that the e-NIC roll out has hit constant delays over the past few years due to political disagreements between Afghan political leadership.
“A center will be opened soon in a part of Kabul,” said Rohullah Ahmadzai, ACCRA spokesman.
“This action of government will split Pashtun people from Tajik people, and Hazara people from Uzbek people and will create division,” said Ramish Noori, another political activist.
The electronic national ID card system was officially launched in Kabul last Thursday when President Ashraf Ghani and the First Lady Rula Ghani were handed their cards.
The CEO of the National Unity Government (NUG) Abdullah Abdullah last week 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 the distribution of electronic Tazkiras (ID cards) is that I know this process has not received the needed legitimacy and support from the Afghan people. A one-sided decision approved by all sides can only lead to crisis and more problems,” Abdullah said.
According to ACCRA, the electronic identity cards will be issued in six phases. The first phase will take six months in which the ID cards will be issued in five centers in Kabul. The next phase will entail ID cards being issued in the provinces.