MPs Slam Government’s Decision to Distribute Electronic ID Cards  

(Last Updated On: May 5, 2018)

A number of Afghan lawmakers have expressed their strong disagreement over the government’s decision to distribute electronic National ID Cards (e-NIC), saying the move will lead the country into “serious” crisis.

Last Thursday, President Ashraf Ghani launched distribution of the e-NIC (e-Tazkira) at Presidential Palace and became the first Afghan to receive the card.  

However, the move has faced opposition from some high-ranking government officials including Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and a number of lawmakers in the Lower House (Wolesi Jirga).

The MPs called the decision forceful and illegal.  MP Zahir Sadat said the move is against the will of people and that it will provoke schism in the country. “It will create crisis that nobody will be able to handle it,” he said.  

“The Population Registration Act has rejected the autocratic decree [of the president] and it failed to get through legal process,” MP Fakori Behishti said. “The distribution of e-Tazkira provokes division and schism. This process should be suspended.”

The MPs, meanwhile said that the Population Registration Act remains a controversial issue, and that the long-disputed e-NIC distribution process should be suspended.

Some MPs, however, welcomed the e-NIC issuance process, saying there is no legal issues in front of e-NIC distribution.  

“Waiting time is over, and the distribution process of e-Tazkira was officially launched and the process should begin outside the Presidential Palace. It is our national identity to have Afghan and Islam [in our e-Tazkira] and conspiracy is ongoing against this identity,” said MP Sahib Khan.

Abdul Rauf Abrahimi, the speaker of the house, who has attended the distribution ceremony of e-NIC at Presidential Palace and received the card, said: “It was my legal right to get e-Tazkira, you should have rejected the decree [at the time], why now blaming me for getting the e-Tazkira. It is not fair.”

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