Ethnicity issues resolved in new electronic ID cards
27 February, 2013
KABUL: According to Afghan telecommunication and information technology ministry officials around 14 million Afghan citizens will receive electronic identity cards during the upcoming Afghan fiscal year.
The issue of electronic identity cards was under discussion between the Afghan government and international community during the past two years, with the Afghan independent election commission being the main focus of the discussions as election officials believe that fraudulent acts will be prevented through electronic identity cards.
However Afghan interior ministry officials said only 50% of the Afghan population elgibible for the voting will receive electronic identity cards until the upcoming presidential election due to the lack of time, Khaama Press reported.
One of the major concern regarding the ethnicity of the identity card holders was also resolved after Afghan president Hamid Karzai ordered to mention the native language and ethnicity of the citizens in the electronic identity card.
This comes as the issue of the electronic ID card language to be written only in Pashtu language was raised several times during the political events and Afghan lawmakers also raised concerns regarding the ID language which on other could create problem to clearly specify the statistics of the Afghan population.
Currently Afghan identity cards are issued with nationality titled as "Afghan" which is believed to be unsatisfactory for the Pashtun and has created tensions among the Afghan people despite no satisfactory reason has been given by the Afghan government in this regard.
Afghan population is comprised various ethnic groups and according to observers recommendation by the Afghan government to title all the nationalities as "Afghan" has a political scenario.
Observers also believe that political and social crisis of Afghanistan including the civil war has direct links with giving more credit to one ethnic group.
On the other hand there are concerns regarding the distribution of electronic ID cards in volatile regions of the country despite Afghan interior ministry officials announced to arrange proper security for the employees who are working in unsafe regions specifically in southern Afghanistan.
According to interior ministry officals around 2,400 people have already been hired and they are looking to increase the number of workers to 3,000 for the distribution of electronic ID cards across the country.