Hundreds gather at the Kabul passport office to escape Taliban rule



Confusion, distrust of hundreds of people in the Kabul passport office

Afghanistan gathers outside the passport office after the Taliban announced it would re-issue passports to its citizens.


Hundreds of Afghans gathered at the passport office in Kabul on Wednesday to report that it would reopen this week to deliver documents, while Taliban security forces had to repulse some in the crowd in an attempt to maintain order.

Taliban officials have said they will resume service from Saturday.

“I came to get a passport, but, as you can see here, there are a lot of problems, the system is not working,” one applicant, Mahir Rasooli, told Reuters outside the office.

“There is no official to answer our questions, let alone when. People are confused.”

A spokesman for Taliban officials who run the passport department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Poverty and hunger have worsened since the Islamic Movement captured Afghanistan, which is already plagued by drought and the Govt-19 epidemic.

With half a million people displaced in recent months, the United Nations says the number will only increase if health services, schools and the economy collapse.

Hundreds of people who landed at the passport office were advised that passport distribution would only begin on Saturdays, but initially only came to those who had already applied.

The crowd pressed a large concrete block and tried to hand over the documents to an officer standing on top of it, reminiscent of the chaos in the last stages of the evacuation after the withdrawal of U.S. troops at Kabul airport.

The officer urged them to return home on Saturday.

“I came here to get a passport, but unfortunately I could not,” said Ahmed Shakib Siddiqui. “I don’t know what we should do in this situation.”

Siddiqui and Rasooli said they want the dark economic outlook to get them out.

“There are no jobs and the economic situation is not very good, so I want a better future for my children,” Rasooli said.

Siddiqui said he and his family needed a passport to seek medical treatment in neighboring Pakistan, but said they had no choice but to leave.

“We have to leave Afghanistan,” he said. “It’s a bad situation in Afghanistan – no jobs, no jobs. This is not a good situation for us to live in.”

The Taliban said it welcomed international aid, although many donors withdrew their aid after taking power.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically created from Syndicate Feed.)


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