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Majority favour word “Afghan” in e-ID cards: survey

KABUL: The vast majority of a Pajhwok Afghan News survey participants favour the inclusion of word “Afghan” in the biometric national identity (ID) cards.

As many as 2,070 people expressed their views in the online survey that maintained four questions regarding the pattern of the e-ID cards, an increasingly becoming controversial matter.

The majority (84 percent) of the participants — 1,732 in number — supported the inclusion of only world “Afghan” that defines the nationality.

While 10 percent (199 people) supported the inclusion of both nationality and tribes and three percent (66) supported the inclusion of only tribes such as Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara and others, while another three (73 people) supported mentioning nationality and tribe in the cards.

Pajhwok Afghan News Editor-in-Chief Danish Karokhel said the purpose of the survey was to know people’s choices and in which specialties they wanted to get citizenship cards.

The survey, he said, was launched on the news agency’s Facebook page from August 30 and concluded on Monday September 7.

The Population Registration Bill was approved last year by parliament and ratified by the president, but some lawmakers, civil society groups and political parties demanded the word “Afghan” to be mentioned in the biometric identity cards.

Others are of the view that “Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” has already been mentioned in the cards to convey the message that the holders are Afghans.

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

In addition to voting, the Facebook users also posted over 600 comments about the controversial distribution of e-ID cards.

Fazal Amin Amini wrote: “Afghan doesn’t mean Pashtun rather the word applies to the one who lives in Afghanistan. I am proud being an Afghan.”

Jamil Raziq said: “The e-ID cards should maintain the word Afghan because outside Afghanistan people call us Afghans not by our tribes.”

Ahmad Khalid Habibi says: “Every tribe living in every corner of Afghanistan is Afghan. We are one tribe and one nation, we are not Pashtun, Tajik and Hazara, we are all Afghans and proud to be Afghans.”

But Mohammad Salim Ayoubi holds different views: “The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” has already been mentioned in the cards. That means the holders are Afghans. I don’t care even if these words are written in English or Russian, but the important thing is the issuance of ID cards in order the spies of neighboring countries could be identified and prevented from interfering in our country.”

Emal Marjan, deputy director information technology, on his Facebook account wrote that the inclusion of words Afghan or Islam would not cause the elimination of ID cards which had already been printed.

He maintained four samples of the new ID cards had been presented to the president, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the parliament for approval.

Javed Faisal, the CEO office deputy spokesman, had said that political, legal and technical issues regarding the E-ID cards had been resolved between the president and the CEO, adding that preparations had been made and the process of launching the new citizenship cards would be started soon.

Necessary information has been included in the new ID cards and ways to make their duplicate prevented.

With the new ID cards, the government will be able to conduct surveys to identify the exact population of the country.

Earlier, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) had said that the distribution of e-ID cards was a must for holding free, fair and transparent elections in the country. (PAN)

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