Kabul passport office suspends work as demand collapses system.
KABUL: The Kabul passport office was forced to suspend operations after the equipment used to issue biometric documents broke down under pressure to process thousands of applications a day, the office head said.
Concerns about the future of Afghanistan under the new Taliban government and a growing economic and humanitarian crisis that threatens millions with unemployment and hunger have fueled an exodus, with thousands crossing the border every day.
Alam Gul Haqqani, director of the passport department, said that between 15,000 and 20,000 people a day camped outside the office in Kabul, five to six times more than the office could handle, and many slept on the sidewalk at night.
Many were forced to return day after day after failing to submit their application, and biometric machines regularly broke down while processing documents, leading to further delays, he said.