Authorities begin issuing Electronic passports in Paktika
SHARANA – The authorities on Saturday said they had started issuing electronic passports to people in southeastern Paktika province. Paktika police chief Brig. Gen. Nabi Jan Mullakhel told reporters in Sharana, the provincial capital, that the new passports were valid for five years and had no chance to be forged.
Abdul Sattar Chamkani, the deputy passport section head at the police headquarters, told Pajhwok Afghan News each e-passport cost 5,000 afghanis but those issued to children cost less. He said the old passports were easy to be counterfeited and used by other persons instead of real owners.
He said the new passports would not only prevent fraud, but would also help increase the government’s revenue. However, he did not provide any figures for those having received the e-passports. A Mata Khan district resident, Rahim Khan, told Pajhwok previously people had to face a lot of problems in obtaining a passport.
“The process would take months and passport seekers had to offer kickbacks to middlemen in the past. But now it has changed, people need no middlemen and can easily obtain the new passports.” Paktika becomes the second province after Kabul where residents are being issued e-passports. Officials say e-passports could help overcome administrative corruption as well.