Three million passport booklets to arrive in 2 weeks: Officials

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In two weeks, three million five-year passports will arrive in Kabul, officials said. The General Directorate of Passports says that talks have taken place with the UN mission in Kabul about transferring the passports to the country.

“Three million passports have been printed and we have paid the money too. Talks have finished in this regard. They have been printed in Lithuania and they are supposed to be transferred, and there has been talk of their transferring them, and in the coming days they will arrive in the country and this problem will be completely solved,” said Shafiullah Tassal, press director of the General Directorate of Passports.

The Passport Authority confirmed there is a lack of five-year passports and said the problem will be resolved in two weeks.

“Passport administrations in the country will be reopened when new passports arrive,” said Shafiullah Tassal, press director of the General Directorate of Passports. Atefa, a resident of Bamyan, says she has not been able to get a passport for two months despite a lot of effort.

According to Atefa, her daughter is ill and needs to be taken abroad for treatment, but the lack of a five-year passport booklet has caused many challenges.

“It has been two months since I have been coming. I have three children. We have problems every day. Every day when we come, they say you have no problems and the burn problem can be treated here inside the country,” said Shafiqa, the passport applicant.

“They said that the passport is for five years not ten years. It has been three days since I came here,” said Atefa, a passport applicant.

Meanwhile, a number of residents of the provinces asked the Islamic Emirate to reopen passport offices in the provinces.

“In 1400 in Bamyan province I passed the biometric process and they said that your passport will arrive in fifty days. It has been over seventy days and our passports have not arrived,” said Qudratullah, a resident of Bamyan.

Officials from the Passport Department in a statement posted on its Facebook page commented about the arrest of forgers of passports and warned more will be arrested.

The statement said that a number of counterfeiters abroad had prepa red passport booklets, smuggled them into the country and distributed them to the public.

The central passport department in Kabul has halted operations for an unknown period of time, the department said on Saturday.

The reason for the stopped operations has yet to be clarified.

“The activities of the passport department are stopped until next announcement. Of course the passport departments are opened in the provinces,” said Shafiqullah Tasal, press director for the passport department in Kabul. “We call on the citizens to not come to the office until the distribution of passports has resumed.”

But the closure of the passport department faced criticism by Kabul residents, who called on the Islamic Emirate to resume operations soon.

“Everyone should be allowed to receive a passport. It doesn’t work like this–open one day and closed another day,” said Zubair, a resident of Kabul.

“The department was just opened for one week and it is now again closed. Why do they do it?” said Saifullah, a resident.

After a long delay, the Kabul passport department had earlier resumed operations for at least one week but the officials announced on Saturday that the passport-issuing office would be closed in Kabul.

However, the provincial passport departments are still opened. On Friday, the head of the Kabul passport department also announced that the applicants could fill online forms to receive the passport. “I have a patient and thousands of other problems. We call on the officials to immediately open the distribution process,” said Safi, a resident of Kabul.

Last week, an attacker who sought to enter the passport department in Kabul was shot dead by the Islamic Emirate forces.—Tolonews

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