Taliban hand out passports again in Afghanistan

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The Afghan Taliban authorities announced on Saturday the resumption of the handover of passports in Kabul, offering hope for those who feel threatened by Islamists to leave the country.

Thousands of Afghans are also seeking to escape the economic crisis that threatens to transform into a great humanitarian crisis, in a context of interruption of international aid since the arrival of the Taliban to power.

“Passport delivery will start tomorrow (Sunday) in three regions, including Kabul,” Alam Gul Haqqani, head of the Afghan passport service, told reporters.

Closed since the Taliban came to power in mid-August, the service briefly reopened in October, but the flow of demands caused technical problems, forcing the Taliban to stop deliveries after a few days.

All the technical problems are solved, the biometric devices are fixed, “Alam Gul Haqqani said on Saturday, adding that passports will first be given to those who have already placed the order.

The new demands will be accepted from January 10, he said.

Many Afghans who wanted to go to neighboring Pakistan for medical treatment were also blocked due to the lack of a valid passport.

“My mother has health problems and we needed to go to Pakistan for a long time, but we couldn’t do it,” Jamshid, who like many Afghans has no last name, told AFP.

“We are happy … to be able to get our passports and go to Pakistan,” he added.

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