KABUL, Oct 6, (Asia Free Press): Crowd gathers outside the passport office in Kabul on Wednesday, after the Taliban authorities had yesterday assured to re-open the passport issuance service, reported Reuters.
The Taliban officials have said that the services will resume Saturday onwards; the service has been suspended since the takeover by the Taliban in August.
“I have come to get a passport, but, as you can see here, there are lots of problems; the system is not working,” one applicant, Mahir Rasooli, told Reuters outside the office.
“There is no official to answer our questions here to tell us when to come. People are confused,” he added.
The people flocked outside the passport office despite the Taliban officials’ advice that the passport distribution will commence on Saturday. In the initial phase, the passports will be issued to those who have already applied.
The crowd standing in large queues was seen trying to hand documents to an official standing atop a concrete barrier. The official urged them to return home and come back on Saturday.
According to Reuters, a man in the crowd, Ahmad Shakib, said he wanted a passport to accompany a family member to neighbouring Pakistan to seek medical treatment, but he couldn’t get it today.
“I am here to receive a passport, but unfortunately, I couldn’t, I don’t know what we should do in this condition,” he added.
The Interior Ministry spokesman Qari Saeed Khosti had earlier said that it would provide applicants with travel documents similar to those issued by the former government, which issued passports under the name of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Reuters quoted Alam Gul Haqqani, the passport office’s acting head, saying that it would issue between 5,000 and 6,000 passports a day and employ female staff to handle female citizens’ documents.