Kabul, Oct 5 (EFE).- The Taliban on Tuesday began issuing current passports under the name of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, even though the Islamists have begun referring to the country as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan after taking over on Aug. 15.
“The leadership of the Islamic Emirate decided to issue and distribute the current passports (with the name of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) to the citizens,” interior ministry spokesperson Qari Saeed Khosty said in a press conference in Kabul.
The decision to resume issuing passports after the process was suspended since Kabul fell to the Islamists was taken to “respond to the urgent needs of the countrymen,” he added.
The spokesperson said that Afghans were experiencing problems every day due to the lack of passports, particularly the citizens who need to travel for “medical treatment, business, studies abroad and those who want to leave the country.”
The director of the department of passports, Alam Gul Haqqani, said on Tuesday in the presser that the country would issue around 25,000 passports in the first round, which have already been paid for and were being processed.
He also promised to speed up the rate of issuing passports to 6,000 daily, double the number which the ousted Afghan government had been issuing, adding that the process would also be extended to other regions of the country.
Unlike other institutions of the Taliban government, the passport department has urged “all female employees” to return to work from now on, Haqqani said.
Around 170,000 Afghans have applied for passports after the Taliban victory led to the suspension of commercial flights even as international evacuations kicked off from Kabul and continued until Aug. 31, the deadline for the withdrawal of the remaining United States troops in the country after two decades of occupation.
Since August, the entire country has been under the control of the Taliban, whose earlier government (1996-2001) was marked by a strict interpretation of Islamic Law (Sharia), human rights violations and the exodus of a large number of citizens. EFE