News - Afghanistan
President Hamid Karzai has ordered the distribution of electronic identification cards to begin as scheduled in early February.
The Ministries of Interior, Finance, Communication and Information Technology, and the Office of the Administrative Affairs are all involved in getting the process underway, while the order also entails security organisations to ensure all security considerations are in place.
"In this seven-article decree from the president, the ministries that are related to distribution of electronic identifications have been asked to begin the process very soon," said Rafi Seddiqi, spokesman of Secretariat of Council of Ministers.
The decree orders the communications ministry to provide equipment for the distribution of the cards, the finance ministry to provide the budget, interior ministry to commence the distribution, and administrative affairs to observe the process and report to the president's office on a weekly basis.
It is said that the electronic IDs will include biometric data such as finger prints and eye scans and will cost an estimated US$120 million to be issued to every Afghan citizen.
It is not expected that all the cards will be distributed in time for the presidential election in April 2014, mainly because of challenges in reaching the remote areas of Afghanistan.