E-ID cards a top priority

Sunday, 23 October 2016 03:56 Written by  Heart of asia Read 210 times

The Electronic Identification Cards are a basic element of e-governance.

They can play a pivotal role in different spheres, from curbing electoral fraud and corruption in government institutions to averting security incidents. The significance of e-ID card also known as e-Tazkira in Afghanistan further mounts given the high level of corruption, fraud and insecurity in the country. Afghanistan which ranks as one of the world’s most corrupt countries for several years needs the e-Tazkira for reform more than any other country in the world. Problems and allegations of vote-rigging in the two previous presidential polls have further boosted the need to have e-Tazkira. Thus, the former government, in collaboration with the donor community, initiated efforts to distribute electronic identification cards to the people of Afghanistan; however, the distribution process is yet to commence practically with several years passed since then.

The main barriers to the distribution of e-Tazkira were the problems in the Population Registration Act. The previous government failed to distribute electronic ID cards because of these very issues.  The National Unity Government (NUG) composed of two rival tickets promised electoral reforms whose principal element was e-Tazkira distribution, through which a transparent election could be held.  Despite the government’s repeated pledge to kick off the e-ID card distribution process, it has not yet been launched due to the government’s internal frictions, and some other issues.
In addition to e-governance, and contributing to transparency in elections, e-Tazkira can also help improve security because the e-ID card holders can be easily tracked down and prosecuted. Also, if distributed to all Afghans, e-Tazkira can also lead to a decline in terror incidents.
The question is that why the e-Tazkira distribution process doesn’t start despite these benefits and the preparations made thereof? There may be different reasons for that, but the major factor may be the interference of certain elements whose interests could be endangered if e-Tazkira is distributed. They may include mafia groups, some so-called political elements who have always “sucked the blood of Afghan nation”, and foreign circles who hinder the process for their interests, as such identification cards prevent their intervention in the country’s political and government processes.
Taking into account the significance of e-Tazkira, the NUG should put its political differences aside, and pave the ground for its distribution across the country as soon as possible.