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Afghanistan to start passport issuance after months of suspension

Afghanistan Taliban officials at a news conference where they announced commencement of passport issuance to its citizens following months of delays that prevented citizens from fleeing the country after the Taliban takeover. Photo: Reuters

Afghanistan will start issuing passports to its citizens again on Tuesday, a senior official said, following months of delays that hampered attempts by those trying to flee the country after the Taliban seized control in August.

According to Reuters, the process, which had slowed even before the Islamist militants return to power following the withdrawal of U.S. forces, will provide applicants with documents physically identical to those issued by the previous government, the official said.

Acting Head of the passport office Alam Gul Haqqani, said between 5,000 and 6,000 passports would be issued daily, with women being employed to process those meant for female citizens.

“No male employee has the right to perform a biometric (check) or other passport work on a woman,” he told reporters in Kabul, the capital.

Interior ministry spokesman Qari Sayeed Khosti told the briefing that 25,000 applicants had reached the final stage of paying for passports, with roughly 100,000 applications in the earlier stages of the process pending.