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Hundreds rally in Khost against new e-ID cards

Hundreds of residents on Thursday protested in southeastern Khost province, demanding the words “Afghan” and “Islam” be mentioned in the electronic national identity cards.

A test drive for the electronic ID cards distribution was expected to begin on August 19, but it was postponed indefinitely by the Presidential Palace amid political wrangling on the issue.

Excising the two words from the new e-ID cards was a plot to divide the Afghan tribes, the protesters alleged, asking the unity government to prevent another round of bloodshed in the country.

One of the protesters, Abdul Majeed, called on President Ashraf Ghani to prevent domestic and foreign intelligence networks from dividing the Afghans. “It is a plot of foreigners. Islam is our religion and Afghan is our identity. We ask the government to expose the people who oppose the two boxes in the ID cards.”

Sahib Gul Farhad, a civil society activist, said excluding the two boxes was a step against the constitution. If the government did not include the two words, they would set alight the cards and hamper their distribution.

Abdul Wali Wahidzai, a member of the provincial council, read out a resolution letter asking for an end to foreign meddling in the country. “If the government wants the nation to be united, it should respect resist interference from outsiders,” he concluded. (PAN)

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