Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Afghan President Launches Controversial National ID Card

Afghan President  Launches Controversial National ID Card

ISLAMABAD - Afghan President Ashraf Ghani launched long-delayed electronic citizen ID cards Thursday, but his governing partner, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, boycotted the ceremony and questioned the legitimacy and timing of the process.
The president and first lady RulaGhani, along with several top officials, received their ID cards, locally known as “e-tazkiras,” marking the formal rollout at a special ceremony in Kabul.
The existing national ID cards are made of paper and, officials say, are highly prone to tampering and fraud. President Ghani reiterated those concerns at Thursday’s ceremony.
“An important reason for launching this card is that terrorists have taken advantage of the paper ID card, endangering security of all our countrymen, and protecting lives and property of Afghans is the fundamental responsibility of the government,” Ghani said.
Ghani also said the digitized national ID card is an essential and crucial step toward better governance, economic development, transparency and delivery of services.
Not everyone is happy with the electronic card. The document identifies its holder as “Afghan,” which some critics say is used to denote the country’s majority ethnic Pashtuns. However, President Ghani, an ethnic Pashtun, defended the card, saying it represents every Afghan ethnic group.

Some within the Dari-speaking Tajiks, the country's second largest ethnic group, are leading the opposition to the new ID cards. (VoA)