E-Tazkira key requirement for modern governance

Saturday, 04 March 2017 03:25 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 87 times

Electronic identification cards are a pivotal requirement of today’s governance. E-governance considered to be the best way to fight corruption cannot be implemented without the existence of such ID cards. Afghans have been waiting for years for the distribution of e-Tazkira, a process which is yet to kick off though both the former and incumbent governments have promised several times and a special entity was established for it under the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoI). Salaries have been paid to the employees of the e-Tazkira Distribution Unit for years in addition to tens of millions of dollars also reportedly spent by the Unit. 

 

One major hurdle in this regard was the disagreement over the wording for the nationality and ethnicity and whether or not they should be written on the ID cards. President Ghani amended Article 6 of the Population Registration Act yesterday, providing for the term, ‘Afghan’ to be written on the cards for all people of Afghanistan as their nationality in addition to their ethnicity. The endorsement of the amendment by the president is an important step, and from now onwards, practical steps should be taken towards the initiation of ID card distribution process if its wording was really a main obstacle to it.

Even though the government’s main objective to distribute e-Tazkira is apparently to prevent fraud in election, as also set forth in the power-sharing agreement of the National Unity Government (NUG), such ID cards have other perks, too. In addition to helping e-governance, they can also prove effective and useful in improving security.

After the modification of the Population Registration Act, the lack of financial resources and security may be another major challenge facing the process. The government has to concentrate its efforts on the issue, and the international community should also support Afghanistan to make this flagship project a success. Both sides also need to make strides to ensure that all Afghans have an opportunity to get the ID cards, thereby preventing electoral fraud and paving the way for e-governance to gradually replace traditional governance in Afghanistan.