The Taliban authorities in Afghanistan announced on Saturday that they will resume issuing passports in Kabul, giving hope to Afghans who feel threatened by the movement to leave their country soon.
Thousands of Afghans are also seeking to escape the economic crisis, which may become a major humanitarian crisis after the cessation of international aid since the return of the Taliban to power.
The head of the Passports Department, Alam Gul Haqqani, told reporters, “The issuance of passports will start tomorrow, Sunday, in three regions, including Kabul.”
This service, which has been suspended since the Taliban regained control of the country in mid-August, was restored for a short period in October, but the influx of requests caused technical problems, which prompted the Taliban to stop it again after a few days.
Allam Gul Haqqani confirmed, on Saturday, that “all the technical problems were resolved and the biometric devices were repaired,” adding that passports will initially be issued to those who submitted applications.
He explained that new applications will be accepted as of January 10.
Resuming the issuance of passports is a test of the goodwill of the Taliban, who have pledged to the international community that they will allow their citizens who wish to leave the country and who hold valid visas, to do so.
According to the United Nations, Afghanistan is facing “one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world” and is expected to worsen with the onset of the cold winter. The United Nations World Food Program has warned of an imminent “famine”.
The movement is demanding the re-sending of aid, estimated at billions of dollars, to revive the economy and fight the looming famine.
In September, international flights resumed at Kabul airport, to which at the end of August thousands of Afghans wishing to flee the country flocked after the movement’s return to power.