Afghanistan to resume issuing passports after months of delay

Afghanistan will resume issuing passports to its citizens on Tuesday, a senior official said, after months of delays that hampered attempts by those trying to flee the country after the Taliban took control in August.

The process, which had slowed even before the return to power of Islamist militants following the withdrawal of US forces, will provide applicants with documents physically identical to those issued by the previous government, the official said.

Alam Gul Haqqani, acting head of the passport office, told reporters in Kabul that between 5,000 and 6,000 passports must be issued each day, with women being employed to process those intended for female citizens.

Interior Ministry spokesman Qari Sayeed Khosti told the briefing that 25,000 applicants have reached the final stage of paying for their passports, with around 100,000 applications in the early stages of the process pending.