Since the re-establishment of the Taliban in Afghanistan, providing public services has been challenged. In particular, issuing identity documents has become more than ever. Until August 15, applicants could easily obtain a passport. Although this process had its drawbacks, at least more people could obtain passports. Electronic Identity Cards were also issued easily. Bribery also existed at the time, but in any case, the relevant administration solved the people’s problems.
Unfortunately, this process is now very time-consuming for various reasons. Taliban officials at the General Directorate of Passports said on Friday that from now on, passports will be issued only through the online form, and no recommendation will be accepted. Although the online process is more facile than the previous one, the underlying problems remain. Despite the promises, the Passport Authority has not yet matched the level of passport distribution with the level of public demand. The staff of this institution is small and, its head office alone may not be able to issue about 500 volumes of passports per day. For this reason, its officials announced that only certain forms will be accepted.
There is a similar problem in the statistics office. Obtaining an identity card is very complicated in the current situation. Even correcting citizens’ documents takes weeks. It only takes three weeks to correct a mistake usually made by the computer or the staff themselves, and that the applicant is not to blame. It is also very time-consuming to get a birth certificate normally.
Furthermore, little attention is paid to emergencies. A person who has to go abroad to treat an illness must prove that he or she is one step away from dying to obtain confirmation of identity documents. Scholarship holders find it more difficult to obtain a passport. Citizens must bring an official letter from the government to leave the country or provide documents in any way possible. These drawbacks provide the ground for forgery. Unfortunately, the Taliban do not pay attention to these issues as they should.
Experts are facing unemployment. However, there are not enough employees in important departments to carry out the tasks. Hundreds of people line up behind the desks to get documents for a meager salary. It gradually causes concerns among citizens. In addition, part of the blame lies with passport and ID applicants, who act without regard to the procedure and disrupt the order of the offices.
In any case, it is better for the Taliban to feel responsible for issuing identity documents. Instead of throwing sticks and guns at the applicants, they have to serve the people and make things easier so as not to create chaos. So far, the process of providing identity documents has been problematic.
The Taliban must solve problems, just as they claim to be the legitimate rulers. If the cause of these failures is accurately assessed, part of the challenge lies in the Taliban-led government. Naturally, poverty, unemployment, and the marginalization of sections of society will eventually lead to fundamental changes in the social fabric of Afghanistan. The Taliban must prove to the people through practical and sensible approaches that staying in Afghanistan does not mean imprisonment and suffering. If they can not, specialists are available to them and, they also have the country’s budget to facilitate the issuance of identity documents. It is also a revenue-generating trend. Thus, the Taliban-led government has no reason to justify the drawbacks in providing services.
Source: Hasht-e Subh Daily