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Non-inclusion of “Afghan” word in e-ID cards stirs protest in Paktia

“The protestors warned the government if it fails in putting the “Afghan” word in e-ID cards they will attack identity cards issuance offices in the province”

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Thousands of protestors took to the streets in southeastern Paktia province on Wednesday and demand of the government to include the words ‘Islam and Afghan’ in the electronic identity cards (e-ID cards). They warned to attack ID cards distribution centers in the province, if the government did not ensure inclusion of the words in the cards.

The issue is simmering since a number of elements demanded that the two words should be dropped off the electronic ID cards.

“ID cards sans word Afghan are not acceptable, for Afghanistan is our shared home and Afghan is our identity,” said Abdul Rauf Khan, a member of the Paktia provincial council. He said that people of the province will withhold their support to the government, if it doesn’t respect the call of majority to include the word Afghan in the cards.

The protestors were carrying banners with slogans of ‘we want the words of Afghan and Islam in electronic ID cards’ and ‘ID cards sans the words of Islam and Afghan not acceptable’.

“We will pose serious threat to this already shaky government, if it did not meet our demands,” said a civil society activist.

The protestors also issued a resolution. The resolution urges the government must include the words Islam and Afghan in the cards or it will face a strict action from religious scholars, provincial council, tribal elders and civil society of Paktia province.

Juma Khan Hamdard, former governor of Paktia province, in an interview to Zhwandoon TV warned that the government will face a serious threat, if it didn’t include the word ‘Afghan’ in electronic ID cards.

“President Ashraf Ghani has failed so far in keeping his promise to the nation and if this time he didn’t respect our national identity, he will bite the dust,” he warned.

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